Decoding some doctor’s handwriting is the most nerve-wracking task for the patients, their attendants or sometimes for other doctors. It is a fact that most of the general public couldn’t understand the prescriptions. What some doctors write on the prescriptions, either they or the pharmacists could apprehend it. A patient can understand nothing but some strokes and full stops on looking such prescriptions.
Now, as a step to end this situation, Indore’s MGM Medical College announced that it decided to coach medical students in handwriting skills to make life easier for patients. The main aim of this move is to make the doctors’ handwriting understandable to the patients. “We are coming up with a training session for students and a seminar session for the doctors to improve their writing skills,” MGM dean Dr Jyoti Bindal told Times of India. “Handwriting has long been a problem for doctors and it has turned to a social stigma,” he added.
An illegible prescription leads to confusion and often it ends up with people buying wrong medicines. Such scrawls often turn into legal disputes in medical insurance claims. Even the Ayushman Bharat has a special directive for legible handwriting.
Now think about this from a student’s perspective. They are already working hard to complete the degree and now they are about to attend handwriting classes? Seriously!! Well, Manisha Goyal, a student of MGM Medical College says, “Although it will be an extra burden for us, it is important and will be a stress-buster activity.”
Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University (MPMSU) Vice-Chancellor Dr Ravishankar Sharma said some doctors finish writing the prescription in just 30 seconds. That’s too fast though!! Dr Sharma suggested that upcoming doctors take at least three minutes to write the drug order. “I suggest doctors write symptoms of patients, description of a disease and prescribed medicines in clear words,” he added. Though he doesn’t agree on the public criticisms of illegible prescriptions, he says that the prescriptions should be readable.
It was only a few days back that the court has levied fine on three doctors for illegible prescriptions. “Last year, we directed Indian Medical Association members to either improve their handwriting skills or start writing block letters so that the prescription is readable. However, many doctors have found an alternative by switching to digital software,” said Dr Sanjay Londhe, member of IMA.


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