Friday, 15 April 2011

Brake ke baad: Pharmacists furious with doctors for bad handwriting

New Delhi, April 15: The Indian Medical Association received a notice from the Indian Pharmaceutical Association a couple of days ago. IPA has issued a demand that a compulsory course on handwriting be introduced in all medical courses throughout the country.

When contacted, an IPA spokesperson said, "We have received thousands of complaint letters from chemists around India regarding the illegibility of doctors' handwriting. Just recently a chemist from Kolkata wrote to us saying that he has been sued by a customer for deliberately giving the patient a pill he was allergic to. The doctor refused to accept responsibility for the mistake, saying he had recommended the medicine with the possible reactions of the patient in mind. The cause of confusion was his barely legible writing. The Kolkata chemist is frustrated and furious that he has to bear the brunt."

The publication of the notice is expected to delight all Indian pharmacies who have had to put up with bad handwriting for decades. The complaint letter from IPA demands that the handwriting course be introduced in at least two semesters of the medical degree and that failure in the subject be treated with a seriousness at par with that reserved for the 'important' subjects in medicine.

The news however failed to delight Mr. Banerjee, a resident of Kolkata. Mr. Banerjee was positively delighted to receive a missive from his son's school - the teachers had complained that they could not read little Rahul's handwriting at all, and therefore had to mark his papers on conjecture. The senior Banerjee was absolutely sure that this could only mean one thing - his son was destined to become a doctor. Little Rahul was also a little crestfallen. He could no longer scribble a "medical prescription" in his own handwriting and claim that he missed class for a nasty stomach ache.