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This is why doctors have bad handwriting

This is why many doctors have sloppy handwriting

Although electronic records square measure a lot of common currently if you saw your doctor’s handwriting, there is a sensible probability it’s scribble. Here’s why.

If you’ve ever taken a written prescription from a doctor or checked out the notes from your visit, it sounds like no quantity of shut may facilitate the letters to get clearer. unhealthy handwriting nearly sounds like a demand for graduating from master’s degree college. though most doctors use electronic medical records nowadays, you may still stumble upon handwriting from your doctor—and have to bother deciphering it.

Why doctors have bad handwriting
Doctor handwriting example. Image credits:

It’s not like solely folks with unhealthy handwriting square measure interested in the medical field. Ruth Brocato, MD, medical care doctor mercifully center in the metropolis, Maryland says she went from winning a handwriting award in grammar school to having a very foul script currently. “I apprehend people have to bother deciphering my notes,” says Dr. Brocato, World Health Organization adds that she will typically browse her own writing.

Also read: Doctor’s sloppy handwriting takes thousand of lives.

Doctors take lots of notes

One factor is that doctors have to be compelled to write quite with reference to the other job. “In the medical field, if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen,” says Celine Thum, MD, medical director at ParaDocs Worldwide. something you say behind closed doors wants written proof for your anamnesis. So it affects their handwriting.

Long days and a lot of writing equal a really tired hand. “If you’re writing virtually for ten to twelve hours every day and you’re handwriting, your hand simply can’t roll in the hay,” says Dr. Brocato. Most doctors’ handwriting gets worse over the course of the day as those tiny hand muscles get overworked, says Asher Goldstein, MD, pain management doctor with Genesis Pain Centers within the tri-state space. Communication between doctors is very important, too. (And there’s a reason why some hospitals and doctors still use pagers but they have bad handwriting.)

Rushing takes a toll

If doctors might pay Associate in Nursing hours with each patient, they may be able to impede and provides their hands a rest. However, the very fact is most physicians’ area units speeding around to successive patients. For example, one patient may need simply a quarter-hour to debate eight medical problems and raise necessary questions on prescriptions, says Dr. Brocato. With such a big amount of patients to envision in a very restricted time, doctors area unit additional involved with obtaining the knowledge down than perfecting their handwriting.


The jargon that doctors influence conjointly lends itself to dangerous handwriting. Case in point: imagine making an attempt to jot down “epididymitis” while not your computer’s handy spell check. “We have such a big amount of technical terms that area unit not possible to jot down,” says Dr. Thum. “You typically scribble to hide the error.”

Plus, some terms that area unit completely clear to medical examiners may leave you scratching your head. for example, QD is shorthand for a Latin phrase that suggests OED that means “one every day” and TID means “three times a day. Your health care provider would understand precisely what your doctor meant, however you’d most likely simply write it off as cacography.

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