How Do You Write Like a Doctor? Discover the Techniques

Becoming familiar with the writing style of a doctor requires understanding both the readability and the content. Despite the stereotypical image of illegible scribbles, clarity of communication and the ability to express complex medical concepts in condensed form are necessary skills. Ironically, this skill with written shorthand in medical jargon is often the reason behind the public’s perception of poor handwriting.

The Notoriety of Doctors’ Handwriting

The anecdotal reputation of a doctor’s poor handwriting holds some truth. Overuse of the hands and the necessity for swift note-taking have resulted in an infamous stereotype. The volume of information transcribed daily can cause even initially good handwriting to deteriorate over time.

However, the advent of digital technologies is transforming this aspect, shifting the communication mode from handwritten notes to typed electronic medical records.

writing notes

Medical Shorthand and Abbreviations

One of the unique facets of writing like a doctor involves mastery over medical shorthand and abbreviations. This form of language condensation provides a quicker way of referring to various diseases, medical procedures, prescribed medications and patient conditions. However, it’s worth noting that certain potentially confusing abbreviations are discouraged or even banned in some medical institutions due to safety concerns.

Maintaining a Professional Tone

Professionalism and empathy are vital parts of medical documentation. Using negative or judgmental language to describe patients (“poor historian,” “chronic alcoholic,” or “morbidly obese”) has come under scrutiny. Use of such terms is viewed as unprofessional and detrimental to the doctor-patient relationship.

writing in the morning

Handwriting Improvement Exercises

While clear communication and professional tone are crucial, considerations for improving the readability of handwriting also exist. The use of lightweight pens and writing tablets is suggested to ease strain on hand muscles. Practice with slow and careful writing, ensuring straight lines with the assistance of a ruler or stylus for curvy handwriting, can enhance legibility.

Prescription Writing

Writing prescriptions is a key part of a doctor’s written communication. A prescription is a formal message from a healthcare professional to a pharmacist regarding the dispensing of a specific medication. It contains the patient’s name, the prescribing provider’s name and address, and other legal requirements like a registration number.

It also includes dispensing instructions and directions for the patient on how to take the drug.

writing on computer


Writing like a doctor is a skill involving a specific lingo, professional tone, and even the infamous handwriting. While technological advances have eased the challenges related to handwriting legibility, the need for precision, accuracy, and empathy in writing stays constant. Developing these writing skills not only helps in improving effective communication but also enhances the overall thought process and patient management.

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