The Reflective Scribe: Encouraging Critical Self-Reflection and Professional Development in Pre-Health Education

Jason Robert, Nicole Piemonte, Jack Truten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Much has been said about the formative process that occurs via the “hidden curriculum” of medical education during which many students experience a disconnect between the professional values espoused within the formal curriculum and the implicit values communicated through interactions with peers and mentors. Less attention, however, has been paid to the formation of the future medical self that takes place during students’ premedical years, a time in which many undergraduate students seek out immersive clinical experiences —such as medical scribing— before applying to medical school. Despite the fact that medical scribes undoubtedly are affected by their clinical experiences, scribes are rarely offered opportunities to reflect on them. The authors contend that the developmental processes of medical scribes, especially those who intend on pursuing a career in the health professions, ought to be supported. This can be achieved, at least in part, through engaging in well-designed reflective sessions with other scribes. Encouraging students to reflect on their experiences can help them make sense of troubling events and give voice to the inconsistencies and value conflicts within medical practice that are so often ignored. The authors describe the development of their new Reflective Scribe program and offer suggestions for future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Medical scribe
  • Mentoring
  • Pre-health education
  • Professional identity formation
  • Reflective writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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