Super Star Blogs!

What I Learned From Hip-Hop

Hip-hop raised so many in my generation. The dancing, the battle rap, the gear; there was no dodging it’s influence. For my 80’s babies out there, we were blessed to witness many lyrical giants rise to the top. Unfortunately, we had to witness a lot of senseless violence and tragedies along the way. A common debate I’ve had with many of my friends over the years is whether hip hop has an overall positive of negative influence on the culture? I believe there are good arguments that can be made on both sides but today I want to share a few major positive lessons I picked up over the years.

1. Consistency

Do any of you remember Mims’ song “This is Why I’m Hot” or the Luniz “I Got 5 On It” song? Many would consider them one hit wonders. What were they missing? The talent was obviously there but what I would say they lacked was consistency. I’ve always believed that passion and consistency are the secret ingredients to success. Why do you think P Diddy constantly yells “Bad Boy, can’s stop won’t stop.” The most impressive premeds, med students, medical doctors I have encountered are those who are consistent. Those who continue volunteer activities for years. I have a few mentees who like clockwork message me to check in. This is supper impressive. Medical schools look at this because they know that an inconsistent student will struggle through the rigors of medical school. In life, we all want to work with, marry, and care for consistent individuals.

“Even going into the second album, it felt more like a job than it did like something I was passionate about. And the second album, everything about that went horribly bad between my relationship with the label, that after that process, I decided that I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be signed to another record label again.”  -Mims     

2. Stay on the Beat

The only rapper I know who made a career of being off beat was Silk the Shocker but his career didn’t last too long. It is important to stay on track and to keep a calendar. It is also important to recognize that life follows a rhythm. Everything is cyclical and once you find the pattern you can follow it. You have to search for it by seeking counseling, meeting with advisers and getting mentors. When you are in sync you will be much less stressed. There are important dates and deadlines you need to stay on top off. If you fall off, it can be very tough to get back on the beat.

3. Believe in Yourself

Nearly all hip-hop moguls have been self-made. Many would say that others knew they were talented but people hated on them or discouraged their passion. In that dog-eat-dog industry it is important that they can fend for themselves and they know who is truly in their corner. Confidence is not an easy trait to master. Being underconfident or overconfident can damage you. I’ve heard of a few rappers who bragged their way all the way into a pair of handcuffs. In medicine, many of us struggle with the imposter syndrome. With hip-hop, it is interesting that when the beat comes on you first start to bob your head and rock but in no time you are stepping and signing the words. You can have 50 people staring at you but if your song is on its like you are singing all by yourself in the shower. It is crucial that you find that trigger in your life that sparks that same confidence.


4. Money Can’t Buy Everything

So many rappers opened up about being depressed despite being filthy rich. Some even let us in on a little secret “mo money mo problems”. It doesn’t matter what career you are in, chasing money and fancy things will not bring happiness. It is important but you should never let it control you. Growing up in the Houston area, so many of the local greats resorted to codeine syrup and other illicit drugs ultimately leading to their demise. These things don’t bring happiness but meaningful relationships and fulfilling one’s purpose will. There was a great article about a now deceased young doctor by the name of Richard Teo who illustrated this point so well. Check out the article sometime. The book When Breath Becomes Air is also an amazing story.

5. Be You

Some of you may remember a rapper by the name of Guerilla Black. He sounded just like the Notorious BIG but his career was short lived. You can only go so far imitating others. People may be impressed initially but will later label you, place you in a box or get bored with you. Now we all know Lil Nas X and the controversy he stirred up in the music industry. His unique style allowed his song “Old Town Road” to break the record for the longest song on at #1. His rise to fame is is praiseworthy. We all have our own God-given gifts and talents but sometimes we misplace them while running in the rat race. Your gift has the potential to impact your career or the world. Last week, a good medical doctor buddy of mine was on the Kelly Clarkson show for his artwork. He found a way to auction his artwork to help pay for his patient’s procedures. He has been able to incorporate his art into his career. You don’t have to be like everyone else but instead be unique and find your special niche.

Lil Nas X and others. Picture from the Washington Post

Well those are 5 life lessons that hip hop taught me. How about you? Is hip hop a good or bad influence? What have you learned from it?

Rise Up!  Become Your Potential!

What is your life’s calling? What are you supposed to do with your time here on Earth?

If you’re like most people, you don’t have an immediate answer to these questions. Society has trained us to be like mice and chase the cheese that is put in front of us. We believe we’re supposed to live our life within a certain framework and if we step one toe outside of that, we’re failing. That’s a very limited view of life, one which I drastically disagree with.

My question for you today is: What is your life’s calling? I’m not asking what job you want to have but rather, what is your work. What’s the difference you ask? Let me explain.

A job is something you do in exchange for compensation. It provides a means for survival and advancement through Maslow’s Hierarchy of life. You don’t have to be tied to your job. At any given moment, you can walk away or be fired. It is not a part of you.

Your work, is your life’s mission. This is a major part of your very essence as a human being. You can’t be fired from it. You can however, fail to acknowledge it, and fail to embrace it. You can ignore it, but you can’t walk away from it. No matter where you try to run to, you’ll always feel that sense of unfulfillment. You’ll know something is wrong. Deep down inside, you’ll know that something is missing.

Here’s an example, my job is to take care of patients as a doctor. I get paid for this and I enjoy it. However, that’s not enough for me. When all I do is care for patients, deep down inside, I’m unfulfilled. My work is to help others reach their God-given potential. As a doctor I do that by improving health and survival, as a mentor and coach, I do that by getting in the mind of other people to teach them how to thrive.

The next logical question you should have is, how does anyone know what their work is? Well, let me explain. God has given all of us special gifts. We all have something in our lives that we’ve noticed (or someone else has pointed out) we’re particularly good at. My eureka moment came during medical school when a Dean pulled me into her office to tell me that people want to hear what I have to say. At the time I didn’t realize the significance until more and more happenings confirmed her statement. One of my gifts is discernment (rightful understanding) and the ability to innovate a solution. I feel most satisfied when I see that translate into success for someone else.

Have you ever taken a moment to evaluate your gifts? What are you uniquely great at? Don’t say nothing, we all have something. It might just be that you haven’t taken the time to develop it yet. After you’ve identified what that is, think about how to best use it to bring fulfillment into the lives of others and yourself. That’s your life’s work!

Rise Up! Don’t just reach, but become your potential!

Top 10 National Premed Conference 2019-2020

Every year I like to share conferences I recommend students look into and like to hear which ones ya’ll recommend. Here is my 2019-2020 list. 

Many of you know that I am a huge proponent of medical conferences and have met a number of you at some of these. Unfortunately, as a premedical student, I did not take advantage of these opportunities and it remains one of the top things I would do differently if I had the opportunity to go back. Conferences are a great way to travel to new places, learn about the healthcare field, present your research, network with your peers, run for leadership positions, meet medical school deans and recruiters, speak with vendors, and even receive the occasional cool gift.

As premeds, there are a number of barriers that may keep you from attending conferences (such as busy schedules, tight finances, lack of planning) but where there is a will, there’s a way. So many of your peers are finding that way so you certainly can as well. Remember that just because a conference is focused on a different demographic group’s needs, it does not mean you cannot attend. In fact, you will likely learn the most at that particular conference as you will be introduced to a more diverse view of medicine. Many conferences also sponsor students through travel grants. Research instructors may also foot the bill if you are representing the lab at the conference.

I want all of you here on Diverse Medicine to succeed in reaching your goals which is why I have taken the time again to list key conferences I think you should be aware of in chronological order. I have included their dates, location this year and a few words. Feel free to research them and please mark your calendars for the ones you plan to attend. Also, it would be a good idea to personally message schools you are interested in to see if they have their own local premed conference. Please also share your thoughts on conferences you have attended and add others I left off the list.

National Association of Medical Educators (NAMME)

September 26-29, 2019, Huntington, WV

NAMME is an organization dedicated to the advancement of diversity in the health professions. If this is a passion of yours, then this is a great conference for you to attend.

UC Davis Pre-Health Conference

October 19, 2019, Davis, CA

This is a great opportunity for those in California to meet with medical schools, post-bacc programs and a number of other health-related fields. This is good for those who would like to explore the health profession as a whole. Over 4,000 pre-health students will be in attendance!

Osteopathic Medical Education (OMED)

October 25-28, 2019, Baltimore, MD

This conference offers you a great opportunity to connect and network with osteopathic medical schools across the country. If you know osteopathic medicine is for you or would like to learn more, then you should join Pre-SOMA (it’s free). During this conference, premeds will have the opportunity to meet with medical students and admission officers.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Diversity in STEM Conference

October 31-November 2, 2019, San Antonio, TX

SACNAS aims to educate, motivate, and support Chicanos/Hispanics, and Native Americans interested in STEM. Its an awesome opportunity to network with others, present a poster, and learn about the healthcare field.

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Minority Student Medical Career Fair

November 9, 2019, Phoenix, AZ

This program is offered to all (high school and college students of any background). There will be multiple workshops addressing the medical school admission process and the MCAT. The fair features 75 different medical schools. You will have the opportunity to meet with medical students and ask them questions for yourself.

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)

Nov 13-16, 2019, Anaheim, CA

This conference is the perfect setting for those premeds who have delved into research. It is one of the larger conferences with over 2,000 students from over 350 colleges. There will be poster and oral presentations you may want to partake in take and you will be sure to enjoy the plenary sessions. There will be many medical and graduate school programs you can meet with at this fair.

American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Premed Fest

November 23-24, 2019, College Station, TX

This is a conference solely focused on equipping premeds with tools and knowledge which can help them brave the premed journey. In other words, this conference is focused on you!

Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) Conference

March 26-29, 2020, Indianapolis, IN

This organization serves as a strong voice for women in medicine. Many issues such as work-life balance, maternity leave, fighting discrimination, and mentoring are championed by MWIA. This is an international conference so there is opportunity for global networking.

Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC)

April 8-12, 2020, Cleveland, OH

I personally enjoy this conference hosted by the Student National Medical Association and the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students. It is the largest gathering of underrepresented minority medical students offering a great opportunity to network with students, promote diversity in medicine and meet medical schools recruiters.

American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Convention and Exposition

April 16-19, 2020, Washington, DC

AMSA is a staple in the medical community and has been an early supporter of Diverse Medicine. This is a great way to participate in advocacy for key healthcare issues. You will also have the opportunity to take part in the premed experience. You can sign up for MCAT Jeopardy and attend the pre-health fair.

Bonus: Black Men In White Coats Youth Summit (TBA)

Of course I’m biased on this one but those who made it last year know it was lit! The conference is for both males and females, young and old, premeds and parents. All are welcome. Next year will be very special so stay tuned!

Which one will you attend? 

Enjoy and share with a friend! 

Get a Mentor!

Have you ever wondered where the term mentor comes from? Allow me to share. In the epic tale, The Odyssey, our hero, Odysseus, has to go on a long journey. Prior to leaving, he realizes he has a minor challenge. Odysseus has a son whom he’ll need to leave behind. His solution to this problem is to ask his friend named, Mentor, to watch his child and raise him up into a man. When you consider that story, it becomes obvious how significant the role of a mentor really is.

Mentors can be real game changers. When you get the right one, your odds of success increase significantly. These individuals can save you from unnecessary stress and turmoil. Vicariously, you can avoid the obstacles and pitfalls they faced. Personally, I’ve had a few key people in my life who I credit with helping me make huge advances towards achieving my goals. Simply put, mentors are essential!

Appreciating the value of mentorship, we’re excited to invite you to the Mentoring Center. We’ve built an automated system that will facilitate the mentorship relationship. The truth of the matter is that nobody becomes successful on their own. We all need help. So, to the students, GET A MENTOR! To the healthcare professionals and professional students (e.g. medical students), please register to mentor and help develop the next generation.

Our mentoring center allows students to identify individuals who they’d like to receive mentoring from. When a student identifies that person, they can click on their profile page then on the “request mentor” button. After that, the student should answer 3 brief questions. The reason we ask the students to answer these questions is so the mentor can be confident that the mentee will value his or her time. If a student is not willing to answer 3 simple questions, they likely will not be a responsive mentee.

After a mentor agrees to take on the student, monthly messages will be sent to both individuals to provide topics of discussion. Our goal is to make the mentoring process easier for everyone. 

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Holli

In March 2019, I accepted a scribing position with AQuity and have not looked back! When I came on board with this company, I completed the training that is required by all scribes and felt it was geniunely beneficial. The Scribe Academy is the first stop of many in virtual scribing, and it gives you a foundation of what to expect.

Immediately following the Scribe Academy, I was placed in Team Training and watched a fellow veteran scribe and his provider. Intitally when I sat with them and watched their work flow, I was intimidated. However, I quickly learned that AQuity is a team/family. Everyone is willing and able to help new scribes succeed. I also learned that, much like healthcare, scribing is not one-size-fits-all!

I have been very fortunate to be assigned three amazing, supportive, caring, and dedicated doctors. I currently work with Dr. Golden (Infectious Disease), Dr. Masoud (Digestive Diseases) and Dr. Navaratnam (Neurology). The amount of information I’ve gained from working with these amazing providers is not something that can be simplified into words. They have allowed me to learn about specialties that I previously had no knowledge of but was very interested in. In addition, I have covered for their peers when they are out of the office.

Daily duties remain relatively the same for each provider. In the morning, before my provider signs on to Fluency for Scribes (FFS), I start my daily precharting. I know some scribes do not do this, but I believe it is more time efficient and allows the scribe to become more familiar with their work flow and their patients prior to their arrival. My providers are very thorough with information that they like to have in each of their notes, including imaging, labs, and discharge summaries from hospital encounters. Precharting allows me to capture the pertinent information and include it chronologically in my note.

After precharting is completed, my provider is usually ready to begin their day. We start that day with normal greetings and specific information that they may have regarding each patient that I may not be privy to or pertinent information that may be critical to their visit that we ordinarily would not put into the note. Example: Another doctor calls and gives them a verbal report on a patient.

My doctors then take their Heart Phones (Yale issued phones) into the room with them and introduce me and the patient. The majority of the time, patients are blown away that there is actually someone on the phone and it’s not just a recording!

The doctors start with the HPI and ROS. My providers like for me to pull the HPI from their previous encounter and copy it into the current HPI while making encounter-specific adjustments. At this point, the doctor will also discuss lab/imaging results. After completing the HPI and ROS, they will review medications/surgical history/new diagnosis with the patients. This gives me a moment to do some fine tuning on the HPI. Once the medication list has been completed, the doctor will start the PE. The PE results are called out to me (or in one provider’s case given to me directly after the exam is complete). We utulize smart phrases and macros (don’t worry…Epic training shows you how to make and use these!) which are great time savers!!

Finally, we wrap up the appointment with the A/P. My assessments are limited to the first phrase entered into the HPI. The plan is then detailed out. Each of my providers are different in their plans. One doctor likes the plan in paragraph form and the other two like it in bullet format.

As always, I put the scribe attestation into place and VOILA! The encounter is complete.

Are there days where you don’t catch information? Or you don’t understand what happened during the visit? Yes. Of course! But the fantastic thing is you are a real person working real time with a provider! You have the oppurtunity and responsibilty to clarify any information. The best part is all the providers I have worked for WELCOME QUESTIONS.

Some providers are more specific or require you to input more information. However, you can rest assured that you will be given a “preference sheet” that is like your work Bible. Everything you need to know about your provider is laid out on this sheet and your support team is always available (performance coaches, team leads, supervisors, and peers.)

Holli lives in the Midwest and scribes for 3 doctors in the Yale New Haven Health system. 

5 Things You Must Accomplish this School Year

Welcome to a new school year. I’m hoping you are pumped! The goal is to take full advantage of this year and make it the best one so far. If you are a freshman in college, a first year medical student or an intern the first few weeks can be challenging adapting to a new environment and learning system. It is critical that you get off to a good start. Things are quite a bit different from when I trained but the same key principles to achieve success remain. These are my tips for the school year.

1. Set Goals

Please, please, please sit down and set your goals. Too many students miss very important deadlines and miss major opportunities simply because of poor planning and failing to set goals. Make a list including these things:

• GPA you aim to achieve (It better be a 4.0)

• Classes you plan on taking

• Organizations you will join and take leadership in

• Important calendar dates (including conferences you will attend, MCAT date, letter of rec request date)

• Dates you will reach out to your mentor

Diverse Medicine has a nice application year timeline available listing important dates. Feel free to message me if you are unable to find this.

2. Gain Meaningful Knowledge

This should be obvious but I really want you to think about this one. Rote memorization has a purpose but I can’t stress the importance of digesting the material you are learning. This of course is more important the higher up the ladder you go. So many of us take classes with a mentality of “I just need to pass or get by” but I challenge you to dive a little deeper. Information is gold and you never know when it will come up again. As a medical doctor, people expect you to have a strong knowledge base. Every day I encounter patients from all walks of like and I am able to establish a stronger relationship with them when I am knowledgeable about their environment, job, or any other subject they bring up. That economics class, Spanish class, art class will most likely be used at some point in your career. Understand what your teacher is teaching.

3. Find a Way to Diversify Yourself

The perfect 4.0 student with excellent MCAT scores may look good on paper but may be a horrible doctor if they are not diverse. Diversity is not only your race/ethnicity or gender but more any unique attributes and experiences you have to offer. Don’t get sucked into the premed and med school rat race trying to keep up with your peers. Think outside the box and experience life. As Dr. Dale would say, “I didn’t even know there was a box.” Do something unique that piques your interest and find a way it may relate to medicine. Believe me, everything can be connected to medicine. Diversifying yourself gives you that special niche. To this day, I still remember a student interviewing with me for medical school who was a circus performer. He easily stole the show.

4. Keep Track

Y’all are doing some amazing things. Every time a student communicates with me I am amazed by the types of things he or she is doing. Make sure you are keeping track. I am sure those applying or those who already applied to medical school can attest to the fact that it is tough filling your application and having to recollect what you did back during you freshman year of college. The earlier you start this, the less it will hurt. I always advise premeds to keep their Diverse Medicine profiles up to date so it will make applying much easier and you never know if a medical school is watching. Don’t forget to use your profile link in your email signature.

5. Find A Mentor

You can never give solid advice without recommending (1) goal setting and (2) finding solid mentorship. This was an area I struggled with as a shy premed student with little guidance. I had no clue how approachable most doctors actually were. A good mentor can open many doors for you. A mentor does not have to look like you or come from the same place you do but they should have traversed the path successfully and be were you want to be. It is best to have a few advisers but not too many that you get confused. I recommend finding mentors with these traits.

1. Someone who is passionate about helping and wants to give back.

2. Someone who recently successfully accomplished what you are aiming for.

3. Someone who is seasoned and has a lot of connections.

4. Someone who is okay with saying they don’t know the answer but are willing to direct you to someone who may know.

Most mentors will be extremely busy so you will need to be understanding and respectful of their time. Take cue from them and routinely check in with him or her.

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Taylor

I scribe for two providers, so I have two very different types of days in my life as a scribe!

On Mondays and Fridays, I scribe for Dr. Persing, who is Yale’s Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is doubly board certified in both plastic surgery and neurosurgery, and he sees a mix of adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Persing usually begins at 8:15, so I log on shortly before then. I do not pre-chart for Dr. Persing, as his notes are relatively focused and technical. He signs his notes as we go throughout the day, so in the morning we jump right into seeing patients.

Monday is his craniofacial clinic, so I am able to observe many fascinating cases, often involving babies and young children with congenital anomalies of the head and face. He also sees a significant number of transgender patients, especially for facial feminization surgery consults and followups. In addition to a myriad of other fascinating cases, he also sees patients for typical cosmetic surgery procedures. Because of this, my days are quite varied and never boring.

After each visit, Dr. Persing will go over the physical exam findings with me and answer any questions I may have about the note. We are in constant communication, which is key! Dr. Persing works with a PA and at least one resident every clinic day and goes into the exam room to speak with each patient the resident has seen. Because of this, we have to communicate very clearly about which encounters I will document and which encounters will be documented by the PA or resident so that no patient chart gets overlooked or is incomplete. The moments when he is in the room with a resident’s patient are perfect moments to finish up any of my incomplete notes and to make sure they are polished!

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I scribe for Dr. Frumberg, an adult and pediatric orthopedic surgeon and director of the Cerebral Palsy Lifespan Program at Yale. His cases are equally as fascinating, as he sees many children with cerebral palsy and other congenital conditions that affect their limbs. Once again, in the morning we jump straight into seeing patients. His notes can be quite complex, and I rely heavily on his many, many smart phrases and templates.

Before the visit, we go over x-ray results, and he will occasionally present a brief summary of the patient to be documented in the chart. During the visits, it is crucial to keep up with his pace and remain completely focused, as his physical exams are quite complex and involve many measurements that need to be documented perfectly accurately. After the visit, we review any information in the note that was missing or unclear. Just as with Dr. Persing, I am in constant communication with Dr. Frumberg.

I have been able to build a rapport with both physicians that I work with, which makes the job much more enjoyable and facilitates clear communication for accurate documentation.

Taylor lives in Minnesota and currently scribes for 2 different providers at Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut. 

Medical Record Sharing for the Scribe

By Anne Bean, Scribe Training Administrator for AQuity Solutions

(Reprinted from the September 2019 issue of Vital Signs, AQuity’s monthly newsletter for the Scribing Division.)

There seem to be competing interests in the world of healthcare information management. How can healthcare information be shared freely while keeping it out of the wrong hands? On one hand, there are HIPAA laws requiring protection of private health information and easy access to that information by patients. On the other hand, there is the ever-increasing need to share medical information across platforms (interoperability) to assist providers in caring for patients with more continuity and less unnecessary testing. On the third hand (is there such a thing?), there is the always-growing threat of cybercriminal activity and we are constantly being warned about cybersecurity. Let’s talk about interoperability this month.

What is interoperability, why do we need it, and why is it so hard to accomplish? Simply stated, interoperability is the ease with which medical information can be shared. When you just had a CBC and CMP through your PCP 3 weeks ago, it would be nice if your hematologist could have access to it so they don’t order another one for you. If you had an MRI or CT scan done in the ER, it would be nice if your PCP could see the results of it when you follow up in their office. If you’re a provider treating a patient for a CVA, you’d like to see the head CT that was performed on your patient 3 years ago for comparison to the current imaging. It seems so simple, right? Well, it isn’t.

Why is information sharing so difficult? Several studies have revealed that barriers to interoperability include a lack of shared usability between different platforms, a lack of standards to create across-the-board consistency, the high costs of developing and optimizing health technology, a lack of trust between various interests regarding how proprietary information will be handled, and outdated administrative and documentation requirements.

Under the current US administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have been extremely proactive regarding HIPAA, interoperability, and cybersecurity. (To be clear, the CMS involves more than just Medicare and Medicaid.) To that end, the current CMS administrator, Seema Varma, has given a personal testimonial to the need for being able to share information across platforms. She describes an episode during which her husband experienced a medical emergency while in an airport and underwent a multitude of tests, procedures, and a week-long hospital stay away from his home city. Upon discharge, he was offered a Discharge Summary and a CD-ROM to take back to his home doctors. Verma states, “After the federal government has spent more than #30 billion on EHRs…I left with paper and a CD-ROM. Most computers don’t even take CD-ROMs anymore. At a time when we are sending Teslas to Mars, patients are receiving health records on forms that are completely outdated.”

How does this affect medical scribes? For one thing, we can easily see how information comes in different formats when we consider all the different EHR platforms there are, each company with its own proprietary way of preserving records. We are sometimes called up on to work through 3rd party applications in order to make our scribing technology work with a facility’s EHR. M*Modal’s technology division (from which AQuity Solutions has been spun off) has done a great job of making its signature products operable within many different systems, but we can still occasionally encounter some of the glitches that come with sharing across platforms. Staying informed about the need for interoperability gives us insight into the various technologies we encounter as we do our work.

Stay tuned! Next month we’ll talk about the seemingly conflicting goals of easy record sharing compared to keeping medical records secure. 

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Kaitlyn

I have the pleasure of working for Dr. Susan Sykas at Appleseed Pediatrics.

A normal day starts off around 8:00 AM. Dr. Sykas joins me in FFS and we talk about how our weekend/night went. Lori, her RN, will come in once she has the first patient roomed and talk with us about what she observed. Dr. Sykas and I then go in to start seeing patients. We usually have patients scheduled every 30 minutes. Since we treat from newborn to adult, it does take longer in each visit than normal due to kids asking so many questions.

When in the room with the patient, I focus on gathering information for the HPI, ROS, PE, and preventive medication module. Dr. Sykas is still new to having a scribe and still does her own assessment and plan and all orders. Each site is different, though, as to what you will need to chart. I have filled in for other providers who want me to do everything in their chart.

When we do not have a patient to see, Dr. Sykas and I talk about our lives and just get to know each other better. I think it is very important to talk with your doctor on a personal level, because it helps establish a trust and a flow. She will also look over the chart and let me know if there is anything she wants changed.

We usually end our day around 4:30.

I believe that the key to being a great scribe is keeping open communication with your provider. If you do not understand something or you miss something, ask your provider.

Another important thing about AQuity is we are all friends. Your team lead and performance coach are your bosses, but also your friends, so if you need something, reach out. If you are ever stressed out or something is going wrong, let them know. They will be there to help you with whatever you need. Also keep them informed on how things are going, if your provider is going to be out, or if you or your provider have questions you don’t know the answer to. I talk with both my team lead and performance coach daily even if it’s just a quick, “ Good morning. Hope you have a good day.”

Steps to SUCCESS: See your goal, Understand the obstacles, Create a positive mental picture, Clear your mind of self-doubt, Embrace the challenge, Stay on track, Show the world you can do it!

(Kaitlyn lives in Tennessee and scribes for Dr. Sykas in Vermont.)

7 Skills Needed for Scribing – Or Any Career

(Reprinted from the August 2019 edition of Vital Signs, AQuity Solutions monthly scribing division newsletter.) 

1. Confidence

Do you apologize when you ask someone to clarify a point? Or when you need a piece of information repeated because you missed it? Are you hesitant to state an opinion? Confident people understand that other people may have the same questions they do and that everyone’s opinions matter. They also understand that the provider is also interested in chart accuracy and is often willing to help.

2. Collaboration

In the workplace, you should understand whose jobs are affected by your decisions and whose decisions affect your job. This helps you know what to expect of people and helps others build trust in you to do the things you agree to do. Interacting well with providers and coworkers will always help advance your career.

3. Communication

You need to be capable of expressing your expectations and responding to others’ expectations with confidence (See #1). Courtesy and professionalism are always important in your communication.

4. Systems thinking/critical thinking

You should base your decisions and actions on your knowledge of how the system you’re working in is set up. Knowing where your decisions fall in the overall system helps you weigh your options and determine the best course of action. According to AQuity scribe Blake Cline, “Critical thinking is crucial for success in any career, and especially medical scribing. It is typically used for problem solving or forming a judgment with given facts, and both of these scenarios occur often in most careers.”

5. Creative innovation

Try to think of multiple potential solutions for whatever situation you’re addressing rather than focusing on just one. Forcing yourself to explore what would happen if your “favorite” option weren’t available helps foster new ideas that may be worth pursuing. Creativity as a scribe can be demonstrated by innovative ways of working through technical or other difficulties.

6. Specialty content knowledge

Some might say this is the first and most obvious requirement for your job, but until you have honed your other skills, no one really cares how much you know. On the other hand, the other skills can be moot points if you don’t know your stuff!

(Anne Bean is the Scribe Training Administrator and Diverse Medicine liason for AQuity Solutions Scribing Division.)


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