Why Do Doctors Have Bad Handwriting?

Why Do Doctors Have Bad Handwriting?

You have probably at least once wondered why do doctors have bad handwriting? It has been confirmed that they have worse handwriting than any other professionals. Everyone had a situation when they have not been able to read their doctor’s prescription. Sometimes even fatal situations can happen, but thanks to electronic prescriptions there will be less errors in the future. 

The explanation you can often hear is that doctors had to take notes so rapidly in medical school, that their handwriting deteriorated over time. That can be true, but here are three possible reasons, according to recent surveys and interviews with doctors:

1. Too much writing

Before having computers, doctors used to spend their days writing notes and prescriptions. They had to write more than other people, in fact they had to write something for every patient they have ever had. And it has been confirmed that too much writing within a short period of time leads to bad handwriting. Sometimes their shifts in hospital last from 10 up to 12 hours, so imagine having to write all that time.

why do doctors have bad handwriting

It was confirmed that their handwriting gradually deteriorates over the course of the day. That happens because small hand muscles get tired and they are not able to hold the pen correctly. Of course, it could also be possible that they simply lose patience after having to write too many pages. 

2. They are always in rush

Doctor’s job seems never ending and it is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. As soon as they finish with one patient, there is next patient coming. Doctors complain that they don’t have enough time to focus on patients and their problems, because they are always in rush.

It seems that there has never been less time and more patients than nowadays. They don’t have enough time to focus on writing carefully. That’s why they prefer to focus on writing the right information and names of medicines, and they forget about aesthetics.

Who could blame them? It is very difficult to concentrate on your handwriting when you have to deal with rush and stress on a daily basis.

3. They use medical abbreviations

Due to the limited amount of time they have, doctors usually use medical abbreviations when writing. Only medical experts, doctors and pharmacists understand those abbreviations. They often contain Latin words and phrases, and that’s why people without medical education find them difficult to understand. 

Have you ever been told that you have bad handwriting? Well, then you must know how doctors feel all the time, because everyone complains about their handwriting. Good thing is that most doctors are switching to electronic prescriptions. Some states even require doctors to send prescriptions electronically. In the future, it will be easier to understand what your doctor wanted to say and there will be less chance for mistakes. 

There is nothing mysterious about doctor’s handwriting. It is bad mostly because of rush and lack of time. In fact, everyone’s handwriting would deteriorate under similar circumstances. 

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