Doctor’s Scrawl

Right since my childhood days, I have heard innumerable jokes on illegible, hurried and scary scribble of doctors. I think, almost all of us have heard them some time or another. I used to get compliments for my scrawl and it has been compared to that of doctor’s too often to count now. I used to wonder about it when I was young. I used to speculate about the causes for doctor’s scrawl. In my case, it was a great deal of speed of scribbling, along with a lack of any urge to make it legible. I used to scribble for facilitating my own thought process; therefore it was never a need to make it legible for others. But it’s not so in case of doctors. 
I used to think that since doctors have studied a lot, they had to scribble a lot and that is why their handwriting has turned into scrawl. This impression stayed with me until I was in college. But later on, I came to know that doctors were not any greater or prolific scribblers than students of other branches of Science. Then I started taking a keen interest in Graphology. What might have caused this shipwrecked scribble of doctors? 
You never know, actually; Graphology would tell that an illegible script might suggest that they have a subconscious urge for not being read. What in the name of holy ass hub? Do I mean to say that doctors don’t want prescriptions to be read properly? In which case, they just want their patients to get any medicines, which might cause reactions and might end up putting lives of many of them in danger!
I would not be judgemental in this regard. This might be just because they’re busy making too many bucks in too short a time span, therefore they’re always in too much of hurry. This sounds a bit less ominous a conjecture than the previous one, because a desire to grow rich is common amongst social servants compared to an urge to make them ill or die. But facts do speak something in favour of the previous speculation:

“Doctors’ illegible handwriting causes 7,000 deaths in the US every year and another 1.5 million Americans report minor adverse reactions-be it diarrhoea or rashes-or even death.” 

In India, we don’t have such clear-cut estimates as studies have not been carried out in this regard yet. But this article says:

Now, a movement has begun in Mumbai asking the medical fraternity to write prescriptions in “separate, capital letters”. The brainchild of an NGO called the Forum for Enhancement of Quality in Healthcare (FEQH) and the Quality Council of India (a semi-government organization accrediting services), the first meeting on the issue held last week was attended by representatives of medical associations and NGOs. The campaign borrows from QCI’s hospital accreditation system called the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) which requires prescriptions to be written in capital letters. “We don’t have an estimate of how many people suffer or die because prescriptions written by doctors couldn’t be deciphered by pharmacists. But going by the US estimates, we can be sure that India, where 40 lakh prescriptions are written every day, has a fair share of errors,” said FEQH chairperson Prakash Gadgil.

What exactly causes doctor’s scrawl in your opinion?


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