Doctor's Handwriting

Studoc told me the other day that his medical school professors encourage bad handwriting.

Surprised?  Confused?  Me too.

Apparently, one of Studoc's professors has repeatedly shared her story of when she was beginning her career as a doctor and she had pretty penmanship and a legible signature.  Then one day, a patient of hers forged her nice handwriting and signature to write himself a prescription for 2 pounds of cocaine.  He proceeded to the pharmacy with his prescription to obtain his 2 pounds of cocaine.  Obviously, this flagged suspicion at the pharmacy and he was caught.  (Shocker!)

First of all:  Cocaine???  Really???  Dude, at least write it out for Vicodin or something somewhat believable that they'd actually have at the pharmacy.  I guess I shouldn't expect much from someone wanting cocaine and willing to commit forgery.

Second of all:  2 pounds???  C'mon buddy.  I don't even know what to say.

Professor's moral of the story:  Bad handwriting is harder to forge.  And all this time I just figured doctors were in too much of a hurry to write neatly, or that they probably write so many prescriptions each day that the penmanship simply becomes sloppy.  I'm sure there's some of that in there, too.

This professor actually chastised a student in class for having too neat a signature and told him to change it, and he's not too happy about it.

We typically think of things like signatures as our own very personal marks.  But I guess when it's something critically important to your job and reputation it becomes more business than personal.   I was a bank teller for many years, and we all had to come up with very unique signatures and initials for the hundreds of money matters we approved and signed off on each day.  Having a unique signature and initials meant my job.

Thankfully, Studoc (love you honey!) already has very doctorish handwriting, and a signature that...well, let's just say.....it would be incredibly difficult to forge. :)


kBw said...

Ha ha ha! That is so funny. My husband was just telling me about one of the residents getting a call last week from the pharmacy letting him know that they had just recieved a Rx from his Rx pad for " 1 bag of Lo-tabs"....seriously. The pharmacy obviously knew not to fill the Rx but the resident thought it was hilarious. I hope you have a blessed Monday!

MJ said...

Oh my. That is so odd...I always assumed that the terrible penmenship was (for the majority), because of writing so much/being so busy. Who would think that it is encouraged!?

The things you learn from the bloggy world :)

Anonymous said...

Wow - that is crazy! I always thought - like MJ - that poor penmanship was a side effect of having to sign a billion things all day long!

And I would think that good handwriting would be critical in a hospital setting, what with all the charting. Seems like poor penmanship would be a liability. Maybe electronic medical records are changing that!

What a crazy story about the cocaine! Two pounds!

Keely said...

Wow! That is pretty crazy! J has super-messy writing and I think his is actually kind of easy to forge, I better tell him to step up his scribbles!

Red Stethoscope said...

What? This is bizarre! I'm just a baby med. student, so I have never heard this, but with all of the electronic records/prescriptions that most hospitals are using, do docs even sign Rx forms anymore? Anyway, that's is a riot!

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