During each shift, the Scribe is paired with a single emergency department physician. Scribes are involved in every step of the process, gaining hands-on clinical experience during every patient encounter. VEMA physicians are actively interested in each Scribe's success and take the time to go over information, answer questions, and explain their findings.
Scribes facilitate physician documentation and discharge instructions, order lab work, witness procedures, help ensure that the patient is comfortable, and collaborate with techs and nurses. VEMA scribes learn through doing and are valued members of the VEMA team.
Due to the nature of the ED, scribes see a variety of patients with a wide range of issues in what is often a fast-paced, exciting, challenging environment. From urgent care to the care of the critically ill, VEMA scribes have the unique opportunity to see the entire team at work including a whole spectrum of specialists and hospital staff.
My work with the VEMA Scribe Program made interviewing a breeze. I had so much great patient care experience and more knowledge than I even realized. The VEMA Scribe Program prepared me well for PA school and my career as a physician assistant. It’s not only the foundation of medical knowledge you will collect before heading to school, but you will also leave with lifelong friends and mentors. I kept in touch with many of the doctors I met during my time as a VEMA scribe and here I am, six years later, working as a PA for one of the best emergency medicine groups I know.
“Working with VEMA as a scribe was an incredible opportunity that helped prepare me for medical school and residency. I appreciated the time the attendings took to answer my questions about pathology they were seeing in the ED. In addition to their teaching, the attendings provided guidance and advice as I was preparing medical school applications. As a resident now, I appreciate the skills I acquired as a Scribe. The multitasking and prioritizing that you learn on the job as a scribe goes a long way when you’re a busy resident managing an inpatient team.”
“Working as a scribe with VEMA was the most defining experience I had in medicine before entering medical school. VEMA offers a very unique setup for the relationship between physician and scribe in that scribing is no longer simply a job, but it becomes a mentorship and a collaborative effort. Due to the one-on-one nature and small size of the program, I was able to really learn from each of the physicians I worked with and also had the opportunity to know them on a personal level. The knowledge and advice I was given throughout my time with VEMA, both personal and professional, has become an invaluable source of support to me in medical school. While I am not yet a doctor myself, these experiences have well prepared me for the rigors of a life in medicine, both inside and outside of school. The greatest lesson I learned from VEMA is that medicine is much more than just a job. It’s a passion, a lifestyle, a relationship, a calling.”
“Spending a gap year as a scribe was the single best thing I did for medical school and I would recommend it to anyone who is pre-med. From day 1 as a medical student at UVA, I was ahead of the curve compared to my classmates when it came to clinical judgment and decision making. I can also say that VEMA is second to none when it comes to scribe programs: I worked as a scribe in college but learned more in my first two weeks at VEMA than I had at the other program. In addition, the VEMA doctors are excellent and I developed meaningful relationships with many of them — we still keep in touch to this day, and I reached out to many of them for advice while interviewing for residency! So my advice is simple: you should strongly consider working as a scribe, and you should work for VEMA. It’ll be the best investment you can make as a pre-med.”
It is difficult to think of a better preparation for medical school than my scribe experience with VEMA. My time with the VEMA physicians has deeply ingrained in me a clinical intuition to hang and frame the knowledge from my textbooks and classroom lectures. A question stem or patient presentation is not theoretical or conceptual, but something I’ve seen VEMA physicians treat thousands of times and something I’ve written about thousands of times. Without even realizing, my time with VEMA already taught me many of the illness scripts, semantic qualifiers, and clinical reasoning skills that medical schools heavily emphasize in new-generation curriculums. I still consider my VEMA physicians and physician assistants as some of my greatest educators.
My experiences with the VEMA scribe program have proven to be invaluable throughout my education. The exposure to patient care and medicine that I was afforded with VEMA taught me so much and gave me a solid foundation upon which to build. I am thankful for my time with VEMA and know that the opportunity was instrumental in helping me achieve my goals.
Working with VEMA as a scribe was an incredible opportunity that helped prepare me for medical school and residency. I appreciated the time the attending physicians took to answer my questions about pathology they were seeing in the ED. Later in medical school, I made connections with the physiology I was learning and the pathology I had already seen. In addition to their teaching, the attending physicians provided guidance as I was preparing medical school applications. As a resident now, I appreciate the skills I acquired as a scribe. The multitasking and prioritizing that you learn on the job as a scribe goes a long way when you’re a busy resident managing an inpatient team.
The experiences the VEMA scribe program provided were highly beneficial to me in PA school. During my time with the program, I learned the essentials of composing the electronic medical record and was exposed to the flow of the emergency department. After my skills improved I was able to contribute to improving that flow and was able to get a first hand look at each physician’s medical decision making. I gained knowledge of disease presentation, lab work/radiological studies and their results, and treatment. My experience with the VEMA scribe program during my gap year was invaluable. I believe the experience made me more prepared for PA school and will make me a better provider one day
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