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Medical Student Virtual Scribe Program

Last Updated: May 13, 2020


Medical Student Virtual Scribe Program - Assist with Inpatient Discharge Summaries from Home Overview: With clinical rotations suspended, we as students are left to balance our clinical duty to our patients and our system with our civilian duty to prevent the spread of this novel virus. The Medical Student Virtual Scribe Program is a creative solution to stay involved clinically, reduce work-flow burden, and flatten the curve from home. 


  1. Reduce work-flow burden by aiding non-teaching hospitalist attendings by completing discharge summaries (DC Summaries) and DC instructions overview from the comfort of home 
  2. Facilitate smooth and efficient discharges to keep our hospital beds open for patients who need them most and spare recently ill patients from contracting nosocomial infections 
  3. Sharpen our clinical interpretations of the electronic medical record 
  4. Become an active participant in a defining moment of our health care system 

In this program, one to two MS3 or MS4 medical students will be assigned to a clinical team (inpatient internal medicine) virtually using the EMR. Students will be expected to use the EMR "List" (our institution uses EPIC), to complete/assist with discharge summaries under the guidance and request of an attending physician. To streamline communication and to avoid duplication of work by residents, we recommend launching on Attending-Only teams. Students will be expected to page attendings at shift change, asking if they would like to participate in this service. Attendings have the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out. We understand that different attendings have different comfort levels with students, and we felt this was the best way to support them during this time, even if it meant not participating at all. 

Application and Commitment: Volunteer only. Spaces are limited and are meant for students who feel compelled to help, so work-ethic and attention to detail are as important as ever. Assignments are one-week long and students are expected to contribute 5 of 7 days per week. Expect 1-2 hours of work minimum a day to contribute to update discharge summaries and continued communication with your team. 


Alicia Asturias, University of California San Diego School of Medicine (aasturia@health.ucsd.edu)