Thursday, September 15, 2011

The 7 Types of Physician Bad Handwriting

Lately I've been noticing that it isn't just that doctors have bad handwriting. There are actually many different ways that doctors can have bad handwriting:



30 comments:

  1. Your average pa/np seems to have much better handwriting than the docs. My theory is just like your heart has so many beats, your hand has so many good notes in it. Doctors burn through theirs quickly. When all the pa's are old, their notes will be just as illegible.

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  2. Where I used to work we had a dermatologist who filled out all of her paperwork while walking down the hall. Her writing was a cross between the 5 year old's and every 4th word legible writing styles.

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  3. This is what I have to deal with every day at work hahaha. There was a doctor whose handwriting was so bad that we have to keep a folder of old prescriptions to compare with.

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  4. hahaha!! My dad came to me once to 'decode' a doc's hand written prescription.. with the logic that I being a med student might be able to read it .. it was juuuust like the last one up there.. impossible to decode :P
    ... Really like your blog posts n toons :)

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  5. Which one is Dr. Grumpy?

    Mine (before) EMR looks like the 5 y/o and teeny/tiny. However, mine as always been bad.

    Med students, PA-S have the best hand-writing. NP's no so much since they have been a nures for a few years and have burned through thier penmenship.

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  6. we have two (2) interns with PERFECT, IMMACULATE handwriting. I have offered to bring them cookies if they promise not to lose it :-p

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  7. Is it because they write so fast? Or do they try hard to write that way? LOL

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  8. There's an NP where I work that has the most unreadable handwriting I've ever seen.

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  9. Hi! I'd like to write a blog post and I was wondering: is it okay if I use this picture?

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  10. Neeka: Sure, just link back to my blog in your post.

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  11. hahaha.. that Sanskrit one cracked me up. Sanskrit script is far neater than that! It is a nightmare for us med students to read what the doctors have written in the pt's notes. And when the junior doctors we present our histories to ask us why we didn't go through the patient's notes (BECAUSE THEIR HANDWRITING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO READ!!), it sucks! :(

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  12. About every Intern/Resident/Attending/Nurse I've worked with so far practically gushes over my handwriting. Of course I usually remind them that the Med Student that's covering 3 patients probably has more time to pay attention to the legibility of her writing than the Intern that's covering the floor or the Attending covering the team! I also blame it on the pens I use but who knows...I hope my handwriting doesn't take a turn for the worse when I get to the MD but I guess we'll see!

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  13. Most of my attendings are the second type. At least it still looks like an actual writing than the last type.

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  14. Is it significant that the "five year old" is the most legible?

    You know you may be in some trouble when the pharmacist says "Do you know what this says?"

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  15. This would be hilarious if the last one wasn't (pretty much exactly) my husband's signature...who happens to be a doctor. He said to tell you it looks like that even if he has more than 30 seconds.

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  16. Hahaha! LOL @ the last one! It looks just like a signature! Well, some doctors have really bad handwriting. Their handwriting can be so difficult to read sometimes. LOL!

    ~Morgan Humble

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  17. Mine started as a "5 yr old handwritting" and is slowly turning into a "every 4th word legible". Besides the inconvenience to others, I find hummiliating not being able to understand what you just wrote...

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  18. LOL! The last one looks like the way an attending wrote out scripts for his out patients. He signed his entire name with an elongated check mark too. :)

    Fortunately, during the time I worked at the hospital ...there were only two attendings that were almost impossible to decipher what they wrote on their orders. And fortunately ..I could also go to the nurses and when they couldn't figure it out, the docs could ..which was interesting. What special skills did they possess that they could read things like that the rest of us could not?

    Oh and I love #4 - kind of like a game show brain teaser ..fill in the blanks! :)

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  19. I wonder if the type of handwriting tends to go with certain types of doctor...

    Perhaps a study could produce some papers...

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  20. It's even worse now that I have an EMR and only have to hand write anything if the computers are down.
    I used to be fairly legible, but now It's like I've pretty much forgotten how to write. I have actually seen a patient roll their eyes when I've taken out the script pad.

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  21. I am totally laughing out loud.
    My theory, is that the illegible handwriting is to get out of lawsuits,
    this way if the prosecutor says "why didn't you check for whatchamacalit?"
    we can say: "of course I check for whatchamacalit, I even detailed it in my notes, right here... "
    and nobody can argue that the notes actually say something else.

    do you use the abbreviation "NAD" ?
    stands for "nothing abnormal found"
    or
    "not actually checked"

    disclaimer: of course, i personally would never do any such things, i type all my notes ;-)

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  22. I tend to go for the immaculate, illegible script.

    For things like kardexes where people must understand every letter I try using print which, as the last time I wrote in print was as a 7 year old, ends up looking like the 5 year old handwriting.

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  23. I transitioned from critical care nursing to medical-legal stuff. Reading physicians' handwriting is often the most important skill I bring to a case. However, on several occasions, I have asked a physician to read his (almost always male with bad writing) own note and he cannot! I will make a guess - "does it say ...?" and the doc will answer, "It could." How on earth can he expect any one else to decipher it? Tricia

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  24. since our NICU went to Crib Notes (computerized charting) over 2 years ago now, i have lost that calus on the side of my middle finger. LOL...
    my handwriting in the real world has improved. and sometimes i feel like i forget how to write!

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  25. the second one... it looks like just my dad's writing......

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  26. LOL my sister is a doctor and her handwriting is EVERY 4TH WORLD LEGIBLE. It can be pretty hard to read even when she writes other things, not just prescriptions. :)

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