Medical Scribe vs. Medical Assistant (Meaning, Simi, Diff, FAQs)

It’s understandable if the roles of medical assistants and medical scribes are misunderstood. They share a few characteristics. Medical assistants’ responsibilities extend beyond those of a scribe in the medical field.

Read on to learn more about the rewarding careers of medical scribes and medical assistants, whether you’re already working in the healthcare industry and looking for a new challenge or a student just starting in the field.

Who is a Medical Scribe?

A medical scribe is a trained worker who takes down verbatim notes during patient visits. In the medical field, a medical scribe helps doctors by handling paperwork and patient records.

Working as a medical scribe could require frequent interaction with doctors, patients, and other medical staff.

They require excellent written communication abilities to aid a doctor in making a proper diagnosis,

On the other hand, there are many advantages for doctors and patients when medical scribes are present in healthcare settings.

Doctors now have more time for patient interaction, listening to their concerns, and designing effective treatments.

In addition to lowering the potential for mistakes, medical scribes make paperwork more thorough and accurate.

This is crucial for correct billing and coding, ensuring that medical professionals receive fair service compensation.

Who is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant is a trained individual responsible for documenting patients’ medical history and vital signs.

Medical assistants do daily administrative and hands-on work at clinics, hospitals, and doctors’ offices.

The medical assistant is a multifaceted member of the healthcare team who helps doctors in various ways.

When it comes to the smooth running of medical offices and the care of patients, no one is more important than the medical assistant.

Doctors are freed from administrative and clinical responsibilities to focus on treating patients by having medical assistants on staff.

Taking vital signs, collecting specimens, and assisting with operations are all tasks performed by medical assistants that aid in proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.

They also do their part to make patients feel at ease by listening to their concerns and assuring them that everything will be okay.

What Do Medical Scribes Do?

1. Keeping Patient Records:

The primary function of a medical scribe is to accurately document the patient’s medical history, symptoms, physical exam findings, diagnostic test results, and treatment recommendations.

Doctors can spend more time caring for patients by recording information as it happens.

2. Healthcare Team Management:

Appointment scheduling, EHR management, and referral coordination are some ancillary administrative duties that a medical scribe might help with.

They are essential in ensuring that all healthcare team members have quick and easy access to necessary patient data, facilitating smooth operations.

3. No Direct Patient Care:

Although they don’t treat patients or carry out operations, medical scribes play a crucial role in the quality of patient records.

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

1. Administrative and clinical duties:

Medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical duties in the healthcare industry. During medical operations, they assist doctors by providing direct care to patients.

A medical assistant’s duties can include but are not limited to taking a patient’s vital signs, collecting specimens for laboratory testing, administering prescriptions, and assisting with minor surgical procedures under the supervision of a physician.

2. Medical Management:

Appointment setting, patient record keeping, and insurance paperwork are just some of the administrative tasks that medical assistants take on.

It is also essential for medical assistants to have a firm grasp of the language of medicine, the fundamentals of pharmacology, and the standard clinical procedures in their field.

How To Become A Medical Scribe

Medical scribes typically need to complete a formal school program.

These programs lead to certificates and degrees and can be found at colleges, universities, and technical schools. Some schools may provide an associate’s degree in medical assisting.

Medical scribes may be able to get valuable experience in the healthcare industry through on-the-job training offered by some businesses.

During training, employees often gain expertise in the institution’s electronic health record system (EHR), medical terminology, and the fields of medicine in which they will be working.

How To Become A Medical Assistant

Working as a medical assistant will most necessitate completing an accredited training program.

Universities, colleges, and technical schools often provide such programs leading to certificates and degrees. Some universities and colleges offer associate’s degrees in medical assisting.

Medical assisting programs’ coursework often entails theoretical and practical education in clinical and administrative responsibilities.

Students learn how to care for patients and charge for their services, code for them, and learn about anatomy, physiology, and even pharmacology.

They gain practical experience in healthcare settings through internships and externships.

Similarities between Medical Scribes and Medical Assistants

1. Welfare of the Healthcare:

Both are essential to the success of medical facilities and the welfare of those who work in healthcare.

Both demand you be able to talk to people effectively, pay close attention to detail, and multitask efficiently.

2. Medical Understanding:

Understanding medical language and proficiency in electronic health record systems are prerequisites for medical scribes and medical assistants.

They need to be flexible and ready to collaborate with other medical professionals.

Differences between Medical Scribes and Medical Assistants

1. Primary Responsibilities:

The fundamental duties of a medical scribe are distinct from those of a medical assistant.

While a medical assistant’s responsibilities may include clinical and administrative activities, the primary focus of a medical scribe is on documenting patient encounters.

2. Realtionship With Patient:

Medical scribes and doctors take notes during patient visits and enter them into electronic health records immediately.

Their job is to ensure the doctors can focus on giving their patients the best care possible by keeping all the paperwork in order.

On the other hand, medical assistants work directly with patients while reporting to doctors.

Vital signs, specimen collection, medicine administration, and surgical assistant work are all examples of clinical tasks they might conduct.

Medical Scribe vs. Medical Assistant: Which is Better?

A career as a medical scribe could be a good fit for you if you have a keen interest in medical paperwork, a keen eye for detail, and a fondness for using technology in your work.

However, a career as a medical assistant may be more satisfying if you enjoy working directly with patients, have strong interpersonal skills, and are at ease carrying out clinical procedures.

Assistants in medicine now do a more comprehensive range of tasks and collaborate closely with doctors to deliver excellent patient treatment.

Whether to be a medical scribe or an assistant depends on your goals and interests. Both positions are promising avenues for meaningful contributions to the healthcare industry and improving patients’ lives.

FAQs on Medical Scribe vs. Medical Assistant

What does a Medical Scribe do?

A medical scribe’s primary responsibility is to take detailed notes on a patient’s medical history, signs and symptoms, physical examination findings, diagnostic test results, and therapy suggestions.

What did scribes study?

Becoming a scribe necessitated learning to make one’s writing tablet, memorizing all 600 cuneiform symbols, and acquiring a broad education in disciplines as diverse as agriculture, botany, business and finance, construction, mathematics, politics, and religion.

What do medical assistants do?

It is common practice for medical assistants to record patients’ vital signs and gather medical history. They perform a variety of administrative and hands-on duties. Their responsibilities shift according to factors like the size of the practice, the area of expertise, and more.

How much does a certified medical assistant make in Texas?



While medical scribes and medical assistants play essential roles in patient care, they do so differently.

The primary responsibility of a medical scribe is to record pertinent patient data in real-time. Medical assistants provide direct patient care and assistance with clinical and administrative duties.

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Paschal Uchechukwu
Paschal Uchechukwu

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain is a professional and passionate SEO writer on Education, including homeschool, college tips, high school, and travel tips.

He has been writing articles for over 5 years. He is the Chief Content Officer at School & Travel.

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain holds a degree in Computer Science from a reputable institution. Also, he is passionate about helping people get access to online money-making opportunities.

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