If I didn’t know better I might think the doctor and the person behind the drug counter were passing little secret love notes to one another in their own special code. It certainly isn’t English. Whatever it is, it pass freely between the professions without any issue. I don’t believe I have ever heard of a single incident of wrongdoing.
That made me think that writing like a third grader was something that was intentionally taught and practiced at our Med Schools and Pharmacy programs to prevent fraud and illegal drugs from being dispensed. Most elementary schools have given up trying to teach future physicians how to write in cursive. Then one day, it all became perfectly clear.
I recalled having a conversation about this subject a short while ago with my old friend Mike who swears he read an article in National Geographic Magazine about the discovery of an unexplored royal tomb in Egypt. The piece focused on an ancient hieroglyphic passage found written on the wall of the tomb. So what in the world could ancient Egypt have to do with poor penmanship?
Well, it goes something like this. It gets a little wacky from here on in, but ... Mike had just returned from a visit to his doctor. He had a stack of prescription refills on the table next to him. He happened to glance at them out of the corner of his eye as he continued to read the National Geo article. To his amazement, the hieroglyphics on the wall were virtually identical to those on the prescriptions.There it was, in a flash, the secret of chicken scratch penmanship had been serendipitously exposed. Doctors write their in ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
Many people I tell this story to find it difficult to believe, but my old and dear friend Michael swears its true, and repeats it every time we get a chance to have a conversation back home in the psychiatric ward room we share. He’s usually right on when he takes his meds as directed.
So whether the story is true or not, Mike is a great roommate and a terrific friend. All I ask you to do is take a good look at your next prescription - then tell me if my story is not true. Beware the curse of the Pharaohs.