Thursday, 24 July 2014

Doctors and their handwriting

Doctors and their handwriting
24 July 2014

Funny how certain careers and very specific characteristics, tendencies and mannerisms, just naturally pair up.  As if they're inexplicably drawn to one another.  By powerful magnetic forces.  Surpassing mere human control.

Sure you know exactly what I mean.

Plumbers tend to wear low slung hipster pants, over which they usually sport rather large muffin tops as well as impressive (in a bad way) butt cracks.  Ballerina’s have severely pulled back hair and sharp features.  Accountants can at times drone on in a monotonous tone of voice (not you Nicole), about numbers, of all things.  Teachers have their teacher voices (yes you Maggie).  In fact, my mom, as a long standing teacher, has a rather impressive one.  I think it’s all about vocal projection and tone of voice.  Arty Farty people often sprout forth about crystals and star signs (not you Bettie), and wear loads of tie-dye and are often fairly into dreadlocks and layers of clothing.  Professional army/soldier types, tend to wear camo type clothing even in their free time.  And I suppose even in a social setting, psychiatrists, really listen to people and draw them out.

Now these are all traditional stereotypes.  I know that.  But how did they become stereotypes?  Well, they were true for lots of similar people, with similar interests.  Enough so to be noticeable.  To form a kind of pattern.

And the same can definitely be said for doctors and their handwriting.

What’s with that?  One would think that after spending an extra seven years of studying, they should, if anything be better at writing, than those of us who didn’t.  They most certainly had more opportunity to do so.  Hello!!!  Seven extra years of schooling!

Yet, it is a pattern for sure.

Loads of scribbling.  Of the tightly scrunched up variety.  As well as the big overflowing loose type too.  Almost as if they can’t be bothered.  Truth be told, it makes me a bit nervous…

Which is actually quite dangerous if you think about it.  I mean let’s have a moment’s consideration for the poor pharmacists out there.  Those charged with dispensing our medicinal cures.  I’d wager that they spend a good year of their tertiary education, completely dedicated to the art of deciphering.  I bet they study handwriting prototypes, techniques and samples.  Thousands of different varieties.  Slanted to the left.  Slanted to the right.  Lefties.  Righties.  Cursive.  Print.  Combo of the two.  Possibly they do speed and accuracy tests?  Fastest dispensing times, of accurate and appropriate medicines, that perfectly match the scribble they’ve been handed?

What must make their task even more difficult and complicated, is that so many medical terms are so closely related.  Medicines too.  Imagine making an error in judgement!  Some poor women, battling to breastfeed her child and needing something for “Lactation” might accidently receive something for “Laxation”, and accidently have her bowel opened up instead of her milk ducts.  This is serious people!

When handing a script over the counter to a pharmacist, I closely watch his (or her) body language, and try and gauge his facial expression.  Interpret the visual clues I’m being afforded.  Puzzlement, leaves me worried.  Conferring with a colleague, followed by pointing and sniggering at me, makes me break out into a sweat.  Consulting the big guns, and pulling out a medical dictionary, makes me downright terrified!

I’ve often pondered, on the odd occasion when I’ve received a script, from someone in the medical field, on this phenomenon.  And I’ve made a startling observation.  Albeit the humble GP, the paediatrician, the orthopaedic, the orthodontist, etc.  After due consideration and through my keen investigative instincts, I can unequivocally state, that there is no discernment.

The handwriting ailment is prevalent in all forms of medicine.  Irrespective of the exact field.  Or the amount of years of study it required.  Thus whether they’re doctors for knees, for lungs, babies, or the flu, they can’t right worth jack!

Moreover, I wonder if there’s a cure?

Perhaps I can write them a script?

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To be fair, this resembles the handwriting of a grade school kid, with very bad pencil control

I would like to contest that this individual never actually received any education whatsoever. Alternatively this is a highly evolved form of hieroglyphics, as yet undiscovered and not yet decoded.

All righty then!


This makes me nervous! Alternatively this doctor suffers from dyslexia, low muscle tone and horrible-handwriting-aphobia-nis-chitis.

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