Wayfaring MD

I am a family medicine resident who likes to highlight the hilarious in medicine as I write about patients, medical school, residency, medical missions, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

HIPAA is for reals, folks. All of my "patient stories" have been changed to protect patient privacy. I will change any or all identifiers, including age, location, race/ethnicity, sex, medical history, and quotes. Also, I am an anonymous internet person. Why should you trust an anonymous internet person to give you medical advice? Don't ask me, ask your doctor!
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Posts tagged "handwriting"

Medblrs! It’s been a loooong time since we did a doctorly handwriting challenge. So let’s try it again: 


1. Copy the paragraph below in your own handwriting using whatever abbreviations you choose.

2. Write a sample prescription for the drug of your choosing.

3. Sign your real or blog name at the bottom.

4. Post it with the tag #Medblr Handwriting Challenge so everyone can see your handiwork.

63 year old African American male presents to the emergency department complaining of chest pain. He describes the pain as “crushing pressure” that is a 9/10 in severity, associated with sweating, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. The pain radiates to the left jaw. It started 45 minutes ago while having sex. He denies any history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes. He has a 65 pack-year smoking history. He states that he has not seen a doctor in 7 years. 

The Path to Specialty Choice: From Pre-Med to Match Day

How sure can you be of your specialty choice?

I recently got a really good question about how doctors pick their specialties. The answer to that question will be posted in several parts, but I thought I’d also say a few words about the certainty, or lack thereof, that many people feel about their career choices. 

No one is more confident about what they want to do with their life than a Pre-Med student (before taking the MCAT). I’m pretty sure that as we progress, we never get back to that point of complete certainty. There are always doubts, what ifs, and daydreams of alternative careers

The rest of my opinion on this topic I will let you gather from the graph above. Because everyone likes graphs. Handwriting by yours truly. 

I couldn’t read anything on that pulmonology consult note. It had about 8 words on it and they seemed to be a random assortment. I think I read “thank you” and “outpatient”.

JL - I’d say that’s pretty much how every consult note reads. 

This is a enigma that has sat in my brain ever since i was the responsible for taking myself to the doctor. What is up with doctor handwritting? Are those predestined to be doctors just born with horrible handwritting? Is this something they just acquire through life? Or do they get this unreadable handwritting while in med school? Sometimes I get worried when the pharmacist have to form a huddle to decipher some doctors handwriting. -illegallyawesome


Those who have bad handwriting come from two schools: Those who were born that way and can’t help it, and those who are capable of legible penmanship and just got lazy. 

Several things affect our penmanship:

1. Time. We’re always in a rush to get to the next patient. 


2. Repetition. When you have to sign your name 100 times a day, you abbreviate it as much as possible until it eventually becomes your distinctive squiggle. 


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Since so many of you were in lurve with my handwriting, I’m proud to announce…

that it is now available as a font!

I tried it in cursive, but it was super hard to get all the tails on the letters to line up, so we’re sticking with print for now. Maybe if I’m super patient one day I’ll make the cursive one. 

So if you want to use it in your logo, let me know. 

Asker thisfuturemd Asks:
Your handwriting is like pure poetry. I am so serious! It is super neat and beautiful. My crude scratch marks on paper are just that in comparison. Crude.
wayfaringmd wayfaringmd Said:

Um, thanks. I could give a sample of good handwriting (i.e., not rushed), but that would require more work than I currently feel like doing, so…


My HPI and sample Rx, written quickly with my favorite pen for the sake of authenticity. 


Sample HPI Text:

24-year-old female presents to the emergency room with complaints of nausea and dizziness. She has been having “severe” upset stomach and nausea every morning for the past 2 weeks. When she stands up quickly, she gets lightheaded and feels like she is “gonna fall on my ass”;…