Singapore: One of my main responsibilities as a Junior Medical Officer was to take notes as senior doctors interviewed their patients. To keep up with their pace, we often truncated long words. This included diagnostics. For example, instead of writing cerebrovascular accident, use an acronym such as CVA.

Similarly, in my first psychiatric post, along with other trainees, I often substituted “Schiz” for schizophrenia when writing notes. Over time, it became customary to use such abbreviations, and people began using these terms when communicating their diagnosis orally.

It didn’t take long for this to gain attention and, understandably, provoked the ire of the hospital’s senior psychiatrist.

In the past, when medical audits weren’t everything, seniors were upset that we used short forms such as “Schiz” in writing or verbally, not because we were afraid of failing the audit. I was. , but because it was disrespectful to do so.

We have learned that as mental health providers, we must respect the illnesses we treat.

Some dismissed the issue of such terminology as unimportant, instead accusing senior physicians of being “anal.”

But I accepted that reasoning, and have since joined the ranks of aging psychiatrists. It’s often very annoying to hear it used carelessly.

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