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Dermatol Online J. 2019 Oct 15;25(10). pii: 13030/qt1xc5n4t2.

Impact of medical scribes on dermatology trainee and attending experience.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.



Medical scribe integration into academic dermatology practices results in decreased attending documentation time, improved physician efficiency, and positive patient satisfaction. However, scribes' impact on dermatology education has not been explored.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Dermatology Department and its associated residency program assessing trainee and attending perceptions of scribe impact on documentation time, teaching time, and quality of teaching.


Thirty-nine surveys (67% of eligible population) were analyzed. The majority of faculty and trainees perceived that scribes decreased documentation time (92% attendings, 88% trainees), increased attendings' direct teaching time (57% attendings, 76% trainees), increased attending availability to answer questions (57% attendings, 68% trainees), and improved overall education (57% attendings, 80% trainees). Trainees generally perceived educational benefits of scribes more strongly than attendings. Trainees and attendings had discordant views regarding number of patients that the trainee sees (29% attendings, 72% trainees, P<0.05) and the amount of supervision provided for procedures (43% attendings, 56% trainees).


The positive impact of scribes on dermatology education is consistent with results in other disciplines. Although hospitals typically invest in scribes to increase physician efficiency, this study suggests that scribes can also improve the educational experience.

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