Doctor's Handwriting?

@SViswan (12051)
India
February 23, 2011 12:40am CST
Doctors are known for their bad handwriting and the pharmacists usually get blamed for giving the wrong medication. The Karnataka State Pharmacy Council has decided to write to the Medical Council of India, the Indian Medical Association and the Karnataka Medical Council to ask the doctors to write readable prescriptions (in block letters) or give out printed prescriptions. How bad or good is your handwriting? Is it legible?
10 people like this
39 responses
@dpk262006 (58676)
• Delhi, India
23 Feb 11
Hello SV! My handwriting is quite legible and anybody can easily read my handwriting. I make it a point to write legible so that others could comprehend easily. Had I been a Doctor I would have been written legible prescriptions to that anybody and everybody could read my prescriptions. It reminds me of a joke - "A married woman with a hand written letter in her hand, went to a Chemist and asked - "Will you read this letter addressed to me?" Chemist - "But it is your personal letter, why do you want me to read it?" Married Woman - "Actually, my husband is a Doctor and I cannot understand his handwriting and I thought you being a Chemist will decipher this letter easily"
2 people like this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
ha ha...now THAT's a joke!The poor chemist would have been so embarassed! My husband has never worked as a pharmacist (though he is a pharmacologist). He would have thrown a fit and our medical shop (if we had one) would have closed down pretty soon if we had patients coming in from doctors with bad handwriting !! I'm glad your handwriting is legible.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (58676)
• Delhi, India
24 Feb 11
Who know the poor Chemist was embarassed or would have loved to read the juicy love letter.. Had your hubby been running a Chemist shop, he would have become perfect in decoding Doctors' handwriting.
@toniganzon (72279)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
In the Philippines doctors are know to have terrible handwritings too but i have never encountered pharmacists giving wrong medicines because of it. Pharmacists here always know how to read the penmanship of the doctors no matter how awful they are that's why we call them the experts in reading handwritings. My sister and her friend are both an exception to the rule though. They are both doctors with really good penmanship. In fact my sister's handwriting is much better than mine.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
The pharmacists will be glad to have doctors like your sister and her friend :) Some doctors have legible (though bad) handwriting and the pharmacists can make out what they are trying to prescribe. But I've seen some prescriptions which are just a squibble or a wavy line. How can a pharmacist decipher that? They will then end up asking the patient (or whoever bought the prescription) for symptoms and trying to figure it out.
• Philippines
10 May 11
hello! I also encounter doctors who write terribly. We sort of have a joke about why they deliberately write that way: so that they won't be held liable for wrong medications. sometimes that is true. they could just say that the pharmacist or nurse read it wrong, and that's not right. I wonder if there is a similar law here in the Philippines that demand doctors to write legibly. I mean, they can't write that badly when not writing a prescription, can they? Some doctors write just squiggles. Like come on, how do you expect us to read that? I think it's the norm among doctors that no one dares to contradict. :( As for my own handwriting, it is very neat! :)
@AKRao24 (27424)
• India
23 Feb 11
Hi Dear Viswan! I fully agree with your views. It is beyond my understanding why some doctors have so bad handwriting.My friends who are doctors, almost every one does have a nice handwriting. A bad hand writing if subjected to an hand writing analysis then it can speak about the mental make up of the doctor at the time when he is writing the prescription. I think because of lot of work pressure and tensions doctors are generally a stressed lot and under stress may be they are writing such bad hand written prescriptions! A small spelling mistake or interpretation by the chemist can make a hell of difference as we have several medicines available with slight change in the spelling used for different ailments. So such prescriptions are always dangerous as they are directly dealing with the life! But now most of the doctors are using computers and printer to have their records stored this problem is solved to the maximum extent! I am a Veterinary Doctor and I have fairly good hand writing and my prescriptions are very easily be read by any one! It is absolutely legible! Thanks for the discussion...Good one, enjoyed participating in it!
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
Thank you,Mr(or Miss/Mrs) Rao:) Glad that you are a doctor who has fairly good hand writing:) But you know the doctors who I am talking about. My husband is a pharmacologist. He doesn't/hasn't worked in a pharmacy. He has a temper and wouldn't have given the medicine if he couldn't decipher it. But from my experience, he seems to be able to prescribe better medicines than the doctors I've been to...and we've had numerous intellectual arguments at clinics/hospitals. Since we don't have any animals/pets, I don't think you will be at the receiving end ;)
@SViswan (12051)
• India
25 Feb 11
Hi flagaz! It is Rao who is a veterinary doctor and MY husband who is the pharmacologist!
@AKRao24 (27424)
• India
12 Jul 11
Thank You very much Mrs Viswan for selecting my response as the Best One! I appreciate your courtesy and generosity in rating my response as the best one! When ever I have a BR I feel very happy like a school going kid! I have a feeling that my views have been noted carefully by the person initiated the discussion and appreciated the same! Thanks you have made my day with your BR! God bless you!
@SHAMRACK (8576)
• India
23 Feb 11
Dear friend, I feel the doctors could give dictating to the nurser who have a better hand writing or a computer print. This could help the patient and also the pharmacist to find out the name of medicine without any confusions. Handwriting is big problem when the wrong medicine is given after spelling the wrong description. May be there are other alternative to give a better description.
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
Hi, getting the nurse (who obviously should have a better handwriting) to write out the prescription sounds like a good idea! Wonder why no one thought of that??
@eurekafemme (5877)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
It is something I do not understand about doctors. To think that they are well educated and have spent so much time in the universities to earn a prestigious title. Why is there handwriting so bad? So bad, that sometimes it gives you a terrible headache just to decipher each word and making sure it is the right interpretation or else you are going to make things worse by giving a wrong dosage or wrong medicine. Sigh... As for my handwriting? No, I do not give that person that kind of misery.If I know that someone has to read it, I'm making sure that he/she will enjoy reading it and would rather focus on the content than focus on the characters. I do not want to complicate things. I just want to convey my message as exactly as they should be. So as not to give the wrong signal or the wrong interpretations especially if the message has a serious content.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
That is so considerate of you :) And so right about the doctors....wonder why educated doctors cannot write legibly. It's like the people with bad handwriting are handpicked to be doctors..lol
@mark98 (567)
• China
23 Feb 11
Usually hospital are now working through the computer and we can see the prescription is printed that is very convenient. Personally speaking, my handwriting is very neat. But now I use the computer much more than hand-written.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
Thank you for the response. Most of the big hospitals in India might be computerised but not all the clinics run by doctors are and they are still writing their prescriptions....which are heard to decipher.
@ElicBxn (63298)
• United States
23 Feb 11
I realized in 11th grade (about 16) that I couldn't read my handwriting, so I went back to printing. Since that was OVER 40 years ago, we were taught how to write, unlike kids today. No joke, my handwriting and my brother's look remarkably like our father's - and the joke was after he retired, he was going to go teach penmanship at the medical school (to teach them how to write poorly.)
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
I had a good laugh over your family joke. Kids today aren't taught to write? I also realize that compared to India, the education system of the US starts writing much later. Reading is the primary focus. Even then, doctors in India also have a bad handwriting. So, it's got nothing to do with being taught how to write earlier or later.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
25 Feb 11
Most schools in India start cursive when the child is around 5 years of age. Some schools which do not see the point of teaching how to print and then again teaching cursive tend to start off with cursive. In first grade (around the age of 6) children here are expected to be able to print/write legibly. Most schools start the writing at age 3 (which I wasn't in favour of)...some kids are able to do it then and some aren't. The new system teaches reading before starting with the writing.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (63298)
• United States
24 Feb 11
I don't know about these days, but we started writing at 6 (a few months before 6 in my case) and reading at the same time. They started us on cursive in 3rd grade, that would be 8. After they thought our hands were more used to holding a pencil and had better coordination... these days I don't think they even teach cursive, because penmanship doesn't help a child take tests, anyway, all the kids learn to type early now...
@youless (112263)
• Guangzhou, China
24 Feb 11
Here the doctors are the same. I don't know why doctors need to have the bad handwriting, I think they do it in purpose for a reason we don't know. But at least it has changed a little bit. Such as here the medicical prescriptions should be printed now. So at least we know what we will take. But the doctors have to write down our situation, and we can't really recognize what's wrong with us because of the bad handwriting. I love China
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
25 Feb 11
That's the part that bugs me too...that I can't read what they've written about the kids or me. I can't understand anything about the medicine...but I need to understand about the symptoms and the general instructions.
@zhouxi (1752)
• China
24 Feb 11
It's really a big problem.I think so in china.Most peole couldn't understand what doctors write.it's usual.but it's must clear to pharmacists.It's important to patients.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
25 Feb 11
It's important to the patients....but not all pharmacists can read the doctors scribbling. They certainly need to change their ways.
1 person likes this
@zhouxi (1752)
• China
25 Feb 11
absolute!
@veronizm (907)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
Yeah, it's so annoying! I don't understand why they have such awful handwritings. They went to prestigious institutions and studied for so many years right? You know what just recently, I transferred to a midwife for my prenatal appointments and I can really compare her handwriting with my previous doctor. My midwife's handwriting is so neat and well organized while the doctor's were so huge and dirty! When she was talking to me about my pregnancy and stuff and what to bring during labor she talked soooo fast and wrote down soooo fast, it was no use coz I still can't understand her handwriting! She doesn't even stay on the lines of the paper! OMG it really annoyed me! I thought to myself: a 5-year-old has a better handwriting than her! Humbly speaking my handwriting is not bad at all. That's why it's such a wonder (and annoyance) to me on why doctors have such bad handwritings!
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
I agree. It's especially annoying when they speak so fast that you can't understand and then you end up not being able to read what they wrote either!! Of course, not all doctors are that way...but it seems like most are...or else the pharmacists wouldn't be complaining, would they?
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
So true. Wish most doctors realized that.
@veronizm (907)
• Philippines
24 Feb 11
Yeah I guess not all doctors are like that but so far every single doctor that I've been to have awful handwritings, LOL! I don't know why they talk so fast either, it's like they're rushing us because there are still so many other patients waiting. But their job is supposed to be customer service, they shouldn't rush us and should treat us nicely and 'patiently' coz if we come to think about it, their job is not just about customer service, it's about savings lives!
@thesids (22180)
• Bhubaneswar, India
23 Feb 11
Hi SViswan, Mine is small but clear and readable. It becomes worse when I write on the blackboard for my students as I cannot write larger sized alphabets at a stretch. Anyways, the doctors handwriting is always messy and it has to be. I asked a doctor once and he told me (on the lighter side though) that this way they have a chance of escaping any mishaps that may arise due to wrong medicines. But today's doctors should use computers and the printouts which are more readable should go well.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
Yes, even I find it difficult to write in large size on the blackboard. Fortunately, my kindergarten class had a white board and that is easier for me to write on. Some doctors see humour in everything :) Humour is the best medicine...we wouldn't need a prescription then!
@r3jcorp (1382)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
I think i have a good writing, very legible and neat. A few months back, I have difficulty in buying medicines of my husband because of his EENT bad handwriting. Luckily, I found a pharmacist who is good in reading writings of doctors.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
You are lucky you found the right pharmacists. But often even they have a hard time deciphering what the doctor writes.
@Cherish14 (2693)
• Philippines
24 Feb 11
hi there. yeah i dont know sometimes if they do that in purpose or what because i dont know if they even right in that way when they were still in college hehehe :) but yeah i think it would be better if they just have the prescriptions printed and then just sign it. so far i haven't seen any prescription printed in our country, or maybe in the other cities they do that already but i am just not sure. because i just graduated from nursing and so i would see and write prescriptions too but we students write it in print, but the doctors are still writing them in their own way. well for me, i dont think i have that bad of a handwriting :)
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
25 Feb 11
Good that you have a neat handwriting. Maybe the doctor can take your services to write the prescription. Even in our country, the printed prescriptions are available only in the bigger hospitals in big cities...not everywhere.
@Cherish14 (2693)
• Philippines
25 Feb 11
naaa not really, we are just asked to write legibly because we write doctor's orders in the patient's chart so we can't just write in any way we want. but if it isnothing important like when i just take down some notes, my handwriting is awful lol :)
@naani533 (70)
• India
23 Feb 11
hi friend... im a B.Tech graduate but still i cant understand the doctors hand writing. but i dont know how the pharmacists can understand it... its really sometimes funny and times scarable to me.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
My husband is a pharmacologist...he has never worked as a pharmacist. But one of his friends told me that most often the patients come from the same doctor and they have a fair idea of what the disease is. Then based on some letters on the prescription and the dosage, they figure out.....but it's still hard and sometimes they are frustrated. There are cases where the patient and the pharmacist try to figure out the handwriting. But what can one figure out from squiggles and wavy lines?
@williamjisir (22819)
• China
23 Feb 11
I agree that the doctors' handwriting is really hard to recognize. I am wondering why they should write that way to avoid the understanding by their patients. I seldom find a doctor's handwriting easy to recognize...
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
Of course, there are a few who have legible handwriting. But doctors are famous (notorious rather) for their bad handwriting. As someone pointed out, maybe the nurses (if they have better handwriting) can do the writing for the doctors...or better...the doctors can dictate and the patients themselves can write it down!!
@zweeb82 (5653)
• Malaysia
23 Feb 11
My handwriting is alright but I must agree with you on the doctors' handwriting, haha!~Really illegible!~ That's a good idea - block letters or typed!~
@zweeb82 (5653)
• Malaysia
24 Feb 11
I have JUST realized when I 1st read your post, hahaha!~
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
we often make a joke here in our place that part of the doctor's training is how to have a bad handwriting... or how to create a code that only pharmacists can decode. hehe I do not have a nice handwriting but at least it is readable. But actually, since I write on the computer for almost all of the time, I dread the moments when I have to write by hand.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
Readable is fine :) Maybe it's a conspiracy on th part of the doctors and pharmacists...and they are playing some game against us poor patients
@mermaidivy (15395)
• United States
23 Feb 11
When I go see doctor, I look at the doctor's writing, I was like what is he writing??? It looks like he writing drawing grass on the paper... I think my writing varies, I sometimes write neat words, sometimes my handwriting is not so good, I guess it depends if I am in hurry or not.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
I like the way you put it - 'drawing grass on paper' ! That kind of sums it up...lol I agree that when one is in a hurry, the handwriting isn't as neat as it's supposed to be. But is it illegible?
@JohnMach (550)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
I can still read my handwriting. Doctors tend to have a very bad handwriting and I don't know why. Maybe because they're so smart that's why they write very scribbly.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Feb 11
So, smartness is directly proportional to scribbly handwriting? :)
@staria (2780)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
Doctors are very much known for their hideous handwriting, but reading the prescription wrongly is another story. But I think it is high time the doctors deal w/ their faults too, and start to write legibly. As per my handwriting, it isnt as good as before as I am working mostly w/ the use of the computer and not used to writing anymore, but I can say that it is still readable though :)
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
23 Feb 11
As an adult, readable handwriting is enough...neat beautiful writing doesn't really matter..unless you are into calligraphy or your job demands it (my first job I got was solely due to my handwriting...they wanted someone who would write neat slips for the employees...the rest of my duties they were ready to train me).