With the looming demands of electronic medical records, physicians have had to split their attention between treatment and clerical work. Often, doctors have one eye on the patient, and the other on their laptop that they use to record their exam notes. Enter the medical scribe. While medical transcriptionists are not new, they have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity as a result of electronic medical records. With the use of a scribe, doctors can devote their full attention to the patient while not worrying about documenting the visit. Doctors who use scribes have been found to be more satisfied with their careers. While not everyone is sold on the idea (some physicians worry about patient privacy and the cost of employing scribes), most physicians who have tried using scribes have been very satisfied, and found them to be very cost-effective.
Read more at the NY Times.