Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why do Doctors have Bad Handwriting

One curious mother asked me, if I learned how to write poorly in medical school. I smiled and said "Of course not, mudra"


When I was younger, my mom use to say that all doctors had bad penmanship. Because all the doctors she has met have indeed very poor hand writing.

 My mom usually memorize the instructions, rather than rely on the instructions written on the paper.

Weird...but sometimes, the pharmacist can't figure out the what  was written on the prescription paper.


So, back then, I too wondered if writing badly is learned in medical school, and... on the other hand, perhaps reading bad handwriting is the complementary subject at the pharmacist school.

 Maybe, this is what calligraphy means...I heard of this somewhere ...mmm....that's right! ...There must be subjects at medical school to learn how to write  this coded handwriting ,and there must be another subject to decipher them...sounds so logical...

(Doctors and pharmacists are really cool!)

So during those times when I was thinking that bad handwriting is one cool stuff...I tried to do one badass writings to make my homework.

Well,  My teacher told me  that I had a lady-like penmanship...( I blushed. I was flattered.There was nothing wrong with my hand writing ...I am a lady after-all...) but then again,

She added...a lady chicken....then, guess what, she told me to do something about my handwriting...


I swore, I will write neatly...forever...or at least til the day I die.

I tried so hard...

And during my residency training for pediatrics , despite rims of prescription pads to be signed, loads of charts to be completed, endless forms to be filled,a few letter of explanations to be written,a lot of reports to be accomplished,  long presentations to be made and hundreds of children to be seen, I still made it a point to make my hand writing neat and legible.

I did.

My orders are carried out precisely because i wrote them correctly and neatly.
(Talk about OC's)

What happened.

 When I started my clinic, my patients cry louder, when I write slowly. (So, I write fastest when the baby and the mommy are both freaking out...and i write faster than the fastest when grandma and grandpa starts to freak out with them...)

And when the parents chase after their baby going out of the clinic and I ran after them to give them the prescription, explanation and the follow up date.

Sometimes, when there is a  ride waiting for the patient's family ,like a car pool...and they have waited for an hour for their turn to be checked up...they'd say ..."Now doctora you have just two minutes to see us otherwise the ride will leave us, and it will be your fault."

Sometimes, I just think faster than the speed I'm writing...I can also give instructions and explanations faster than I can write.

Hahaha. What the hell happened to my resolve.

Then, I've been doing a lot of histories are in essay form with a lot of arrows for simplification  Then, I'm doing a lot of essay work for Philhealth too, more than I can gobble up. (Essays are for literature graduates,well... that's what I used to think.)

I think surgeons make an operating room technique where they write everything they did to a patient from the time the patient was sedated, cut open, yanked out whatever they are fixing or yanking out... up to the time of closing up and waking the patient up...(Those are lot of sentences.)


I wish I could say that bad handwriting is congenital or hereditary or a genetic problem...


I always thought seeing kids and  making them well is the job I signed up for...well, tough luck, that's half the job, half the agony , or half the fun...

I live to write essays and complete charts.


 ( My high school teacher would be so proud...she always thought I was more of a science or math person.)

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