Department of Ophthalmology

Scribes

Overview

The Ophthalmology Department's scribe team is composed of highly motivated post-baccalaureate students looking to pursue careers in medicine. Each scribe is paired with an ophthalmology faculty mentor in one of the Department’s 17 sub-specialties based on interests and compatibility. Scribes work daily with their faculty mentors, taking notes during and after patient visits, documenting procedure results, closing charts, and helping maintain patient flow. Scribes also perform various additional clerical tasks, including assisting with Institutional Review Board (IRB) and grant applications. 

Scribes gain extensive hands-on experience working directly with patients in a hospital setting and often have opportunities to participate with authorship in research publications. Scribes regularly work with medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty members, who provide guidance with the medical school application process. The Department’s scribes go on to attend top medical schools and maintain close relationships with faculty and staff throughout their careers.   

Quotes from Scribes

  • “The scribe program fits into our culture of patient care first. We are all working together towards that goal. It provides scribes necessary training in a hospital setting while interacting with patients and their mentor, so they are comfortable when they complete medical school and begin their residencies.” – Lina Sanchez, Manager of Ophthalmic Technicians and Scribes 
  • “My role as a scribe has been crucial in preparing me for a career in medicine. I've gained a deeper appreciation of the teamwork needed to successfully operate an outpatient clinic. By working closely with technicians, residents, fellows, medical students, and front desk staff, I have learned how to communicate and work efficiently to yield a positive experience for the patient. Ultimately, I am grateful to work so closely with exemplary physicians who continue to serve as role models. Lastly, I value the opportunity to interact with patients on a daily basis and develop important clinical skills.” – Suraj Patel
  • “I have learned what it takes to be a great physician and I know that I will be a better person and one day even a better doctor for having worked with Dr. Nichols.” – Jeff Head
  • “I get to work with not only a brilliant, but a very compassionate physician. Dr. Miller is wonderful in handling difficult patients with a smile. She truly is a breath of fresh air in this field. She is always positive. It is a rare and very valuable trait that I deeply admire in her.” – Rupal Patel
  • “Interacting with the physicians and the patients, while being able to observe procedures that are performed, allows for a great learning environment. Close interactions with physicians allow for a more personal relationship to be formed between the scribe and the physician.” – Priya Jain

Applying to the Scribe Program

The Department annually recruits each spring post-baccalaureate students who are skilled at multi-tasking, keyboard savvy, and have strong interpersonal skills to join the scribe program. The application process includes an interview and typing test. Once hired, successful candidates will complete the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) Ophthalmic Scribe Certification (OSC), as well as Penn Chart Training. Support will be provided by the program manager, to guide the scribe through this training process. This position is a 12 to 24-month commitment. 

Contact Information

Lina Sanchez
Manager, Ophthalmic Technicians and Scribes 
Email: Lina.Sanchez@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

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