I propose that we say that SCUT means Stop Creating Unnecessary Tasks, i.e. just say no to "scut" in medical school and thereafter. (Though some say SCUT is the Steroids for Corneal Ulcers Trial or the South China University of Technology)
Not a big fan of the term. Where did it come from? There's "A Phenomenology of Scut" published in 1991 aiming to identify, describe, and quantify what residents and faculty call scutwork. They found that 83% of residents found scutwork and education to be mutually
exclusive. But importantly, context mattered.
Are scutwork and education mutually exclusive?
Are scutwork and service inseparable?
Consider whether the task is integral to patient care or to learning, and --best case scenario-- is it important for both (patient care and learning)?
Also ask: Who should perform this task? Can I do it efficiently and sufficiently well? Could someone else do it better? Should I do something else while someone else does this? Shall I practice exclusively at the top of my license (or the license to be obtained) or shall I be more holistic in my care?
Some tasks are about caring:
getting a blanket or a cup of water for a patient (not SCUT).
Some tasks are about process:
re-faxing the referral or filling out the school/camp form (not necessarily scut and it must be done, who can do it, who should do it?)
Some tasks are about service and learning:
partnering with patients and families, making difficult decisions, employing clinical reasoning skills, and doing anything that involves helping people maximize health and well being, preventing disease, or healing... (definitely not scut)