Why Doctors have bad Handwriting ?

India
January 10, 2011 2:07pm CST
Hello friends. Why doctors have bad handwriting which is difficult to understand (here i am talking about those doctors who have poor handwriting)? Most of the errors (prescription errors) happened due to failure of reading precisely what doctor prescribed in the prescription. A small mistake in reading prescription can be fatal for the patient. so far, till date unfortunately i have not found any doctor whose handwriting is elegant. what do you think about this ? Have you ever faced a doctor with poor handwriting ?
4 people like this
20 responses
@cream97 (29180)
• United States
26 Feb 11
Hi. placeboplace. Yes, I have faced a doctor that has poor handwriting. So many of times. I can never understand what they have written, but the pharmacy seems to know. I don't know how they do, but they can. Every prescription that they have filled for me was accurate. There was never a mistake. But I still feel that doctors that can't write legible should print their prescriptions out on the computer instead.
• India
3 Apr 11
yes whatsoever you said is correct. But see a small mistake in reading (due to bad hand writting) proven to be fatal and such things are happening and people are suffering due to this .
@sweet_pea (3326)
• Philippines
13 May 11
I have noticed them too. But most of the pediatricians that I met had eligible handwriting. I am really amazed that they can be deciphered by pharmacists. That is amazing! I think they do medical shorthand because they have lots of patients on queue that needs to be attended and it can be tiring when you have to write 100+ prescriptions in a day. Although I think they should be more careful doing it as patients may be given wrong medicines for their ailments.
• Serbia And Montenegro
12 Jan 11
It is so that they can have an excuse when something goes wrong. They can simply say that someone read their instructions wrong, and that the instructions were good. :D
• India
12 Jan 11
ha ha ,you tell the truth.doctor always give us a bad handwriting because if they mistake their spellin we do not understand their mistake..one day i asked a doctor for their bad hand writing and he tell a romanchable answered . he tell that if their handwriting was good we understand their doctrate...........................its funny naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
@youless (65209)
• Guangzhou, China
11 Jan 11
I also have a doubt why the doctors will have bad handwriting. It doesn't make sense since the doctors all have good education. I think they do it on purpose. I don't know why exactly. I wonder they don't want the patients to know what's wrong with their cases. And they also don't want them to know the prescriptions in case there will be an accident. I love China
@lingli_78 (12862)
• Australia
11 Jan 11
i have been wondering about this question as well all my life until now... i can't say that all doctors have bad handwriting because i had met a few who really have a very neat and nice handwriting... but most of the doctors do have bad handwriting... i totally agree with that and i don't know the reason why until today... take care and have a nice day...
@lady1993 (12386)
• Philippines
11 Jan 11
I'm not really sure either.. I have never really seen a doctor whit good penmanship though. Yes, it would be really nice if they had better handwriting so there would be no more errors..
@voldrox (7208)
• India
11 Jan 11
Hello there, Yes, most doctors do have a habit of scribbling things fast, i guess because they never get the time to try any perfection. I believe they are quiet busy people and don't have the time to make it alright. However, most pharmaceuticals are able to recognize what the doctors have given and i have never heard a case of patients getting the wrong medicine due to their handwriting.
@lydneis (26)
• United States
11 Jan 11
Having been a pharmacy technician I've dealt with a lot of doctors. Yes there are some out there with good handwriting but not many. I've found that it tends to get worse and the doctors get older/have been in practice longer. Basically they either seem to get more rushed or just don't care anymore. Yes they do use shorthand latin for a lot but that's not what makes it unreadible. Having computer generated perscriptions is becomming a lot more prevalent which ups the abilty to read them, but I've noticed that doctors either don't know how to use the software or don't seem to check it as well. I can't tell you how many times I had to call to clarify something that doesn't make sense (i.e. quantity and directions don't match). So at this point you have to pick your poison. Always ask before you leave the office what you're getting and how to take it, and ask the same questions at the pharmacy especially if it's different in any way. Ten to one the doctor wrote something wrong, or it was misinterpreted by the pharmacy staff. But take responsibility for your health and know what you're on and why. It's frustrating to no end when people call you and ask what the medication they've been taking for 6 months is for.
• Philippines
11 Jan 11
I noticed the same too. Most doctors have poor handwriting. I actually just try to remember and take note of the schedule of the prescribed medicines since I know that I wouldn't be able to read their prescription correctly. On the other hand, I really wonder how can the pharmacists read doctors' handwriting? Mostly, if not all pharmacists, can very well read the doctors' prescription - well, that's based on my experience. But you are correct. A small mistake in reading the prescription can be fatal. That is why the patient should also be responsible enough to ask the doctor to interpret and maybe re-write his/her prescription.
• India
11 Jan 11
I totally agree with you. All my life i have been wondering why doctor`s write so terribly. a layman can not understand what they have written in the prescription unless you try and read it more than once. its only the chemist`s who understand their prescription on the first sight. Maybe its because medical exams are very lengthy and medical students(future doctors) have to complete them real fast in order to gain good marks and so, in due course of time their handwriting automatically becomes bad.
11 Jan 11
yeah right i noticed it since when i was young i cant read it until now heheh so bad hand writting.. why is that? hehe although here in us we dont have errors but i really want doctors to make their writting easy to read because it takes time to to read it... i realy find it difficult to read. ^_^ i hope this coming 2011 doctors hand writing will improve ^_^..
@doggydimon (1380)
• Philippines
11 Jan 11
I also ask this question quite often. What is it with doctors that makes their hand writing that bad. Is it some kind of a code? hahaha... I ask this because more often than not, every pharmacist that reads the prescription that I bring can decipher what it says even no one in our house can understand it. Sometimes I also wonder if there Engineer/Doctors in the house. I wish I could find one so that for once I can see a prescription that I can read.
@jennbart (1334)
• Philippines
11 Jan 11
I have been with doctors with poor and with good hand writing, and usually female doctors has those pretty hand writing than male doctors:)
@fake_you (391)
• Philippines
11 Jan 11
So far, almost all doctors I've consulted have poor handwriting. I guess it's a trend. I'm not sure if my friend was saying the truth, but he said that pharmacists and doctors alike have a course that teaches them how to write. I think it might be a good answer to that. But why? I do not have the slightest idea. For so many years, I have only encountered one doctor whose handwriting is decent enough to be understood. How I wished all doctors wrote like that.
@coffeebreak (17829)
• United States
11 Jan 11
I've wondered that many a year! I think they are required to take a "Handwritting Scribble" course in college! Has to be something like that cause I have seen them..they are not that much in a hurry during an appt so why scribble so much? I knw they use some medical shorthand, but the rest...half the time the pharmacist has to ask my the spelling of my name as they can't even write that ledgibly! Thing is...can they read their own writing? I wonder!
@wydtron (302)
• Portugal
11 Jan 11
I totally agre with you dude. But I dont know why. Probably because they have to write fast to get more patients done. Or maybe its how the pharmacies understand the writting. I hope someday i know that too ^^
@maclanis (1365)
• Belgium
10 Jan 11
Yes this is so strange. It's like a universal thing or something! All doctors have bad handwritings that only the pharmacists can read... I don't know why this is, but every doctor's prescription I've ever had, I could not understand a single thing of...
@_sketch_ (5714)
• United States
10 Jan 11
Well as I had posted in two discussions, handwriting is said to reflect our personality, so perhaps doctors have hard-to-read handwriting because they share common character traits. The character traits that give a person an interest in medicine may be some of the same character traits that give a person that style of handwriting. I have faced many doctors who write this way, but it is always legible enough to know which prescription is it for. They usually write that part out very carefully and in print, so their letters don't run together and stuff. Usually just their signature is the part you can never read. I really don't think that it is a problem.
• United States
10 Jan 11
Yes I have noticed that plenty of times but when we take our prescriptions to get them filled the pharmacy worker knows what it is and I am sure if they are not sure what it is they will call the doctor who prescribed it! I always wondered why all doctors write like that myself?