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The Best Pens for Doctors in 2023


Some professions communicate in writing using the age-old pen, despite the explosive digital transformation. Doctors still value the time-honored practice of handwriting patient orders, care plans, prescriptions, and treatments instead of computerizing everything.

And while some folks might question this practice, patients feel more confident if doctors take the time to write their care plan. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for the best pens for doctors, ensuring optimum comfort, writing versatility, and value throughout their clinical lives. We reviewed six of the best writing instruments for physicians to give you a head start on which to buy.

The Best Pens for Doctors Reviews

1. PILOT Precise V5 RT Rolling Ball Pens for Doctors


With a century-old legacy, I don’t have any doubt that Pilot pens remain some of the best writing instruments for anyone, including doctors. It’s a trustworthy brand few can outclass.

Physicians will love the crisp, clean, and clear lines this rolling ball pen makes. It is perfect for writing doctor’s orders, prescriptions, and care plans. I also appreciate the rubber-like grip where the thumb and forefinger rest. Physicians will not have finger cramps at the end of duty.

My only concern with this doctor’s pen is its liquid-based ink that tends to smear if it contacts water, but this is subjective. Other than that, this is a great pen, although not perfect for everyone. Overall, this pen should make a dependable writing instrument for doctors who care enough to use only a trusted brand for their patients.


  • Reliable and trustworthy brand
  • Writes clear and clean lines
  • Comfortable grip


  • Water-based ink

2. SIKAO Cute Doctor Pen “Thank You”


Here’s a pen worth gifting to a friend in the medical profession or showing your appreciation to a family doctor. The Peanuts-like doctor at the barrel’s upper end gives these pens a whimsical nature, guaranteed to melt a physician’s stresses and woes for the day.

I’m glad the company added a waxed red ball to cap the tip before use, ensuring the ink doesn’t dry out. The ink flows smoothly, enabling doctors to write effortlessly. Although they’re inexpensive, these pens never falter in their longevity and performance.

I like the “thank you” message, showing our appreciation for doctors’ invaluable contributions to make our loved ones feel better. I only wish it came with other “thoughtful” messages. These pens make perfect gifts for fun-loving doctors, making it impossible for them not to smile when they see these pens.


  • Fun, whimsical design
  • Smooth ink flow
  • Great value


  • Only one message

3. Pilot Multi Function Doctor Grip 4+1 Pen for Doctors


PILOT returns to our list with an ingenious writing instrument for the hardest-working doctors we know. Surprisingly, this pen has five writing instruments within its stubby barrel. The black, red, blue, and green ink cartridges are perfect for temperature, pulse, and respiration documentation. It also has a mechanical pencil for doctors who want to sketch disease pathways for nurses and patients.

The half-millimeter ballpoint is perfect for writing on space-limited patient’s progress charts. And the body feels nice between the forefinger and thumb, especially the textured forefront. Unfortunately, doctors with slim fingers or tiny hands might find the barrel too wide for comfort. They can always choose individually-colored pens. PILOT never fails to amaze professionals and ordinary folks, proving again why they’re the best in the world having lasted for more than a century.


  • Five writing instruments in one
  • Writes fine and clear lines
  • Exceptional comfort


  • Not for small hands

4. SWTOOL Syringe Ballpoint Pen


There’s no better pen to remind doctors of their sacred duties than a syringe-style writing instrument. Most patients might be scared of needles, but the only liquid coming out from these medical device-inspired pens is an oil-based ink that will never blot, smudge, or bleed through.

Like a syringe, holding these ballpoint pens never feel weighty. Doctors could write all day throughout the shift without feeling numb or tingling fingers. Some might find the barrel somewhat slippery, but most doctors will love how their thumbs and forefingers wrap around the cylinder.

As thoughtful as these pens are, the company doesn’t offer customization. It could be the perfect gift for an aspiring doctor. These pens might look fun, but they’re serious about helping doctors and aspiring physicians write patient notes with confidence. You might want to check them out for yourself or as a gift to a doctor friend.


  • Medical device-inspired design
  • Comfortable to write with
  • Quick-drying ink


  • No customization

5. TUL GL1 Retractable Gel Pens for Doctors


Gel ink pens have the advantages of fountain pens and ballpoint pens combined. This pen delivers such a performance, allowing physicians to write on patients’ charts without smudging, bleed-through, and blotting.

The pen’s elegant look also makes it at par with a doctor’s stature. After all, a doctor’s white coat commands respect, and it would be somewhat challenging to ask for it if one has a funny-looking pen.

Although this pen has a well-polished look, its rubberized grip guarantees it won’t slip through a doctor’s hand. This is one of its best features, recognizing that a doctor is always busy to deal with a slipping pen.

I wish the company paid more attention to ensure consistent quality control because some pens are defective. Love it or hate it, this gel ink pen remains a worthy gift for your favorite doctor.


  • Ink doesn’t blot or smudge
  • Elegant look
  • Comfortable textured grip


  • Inconsistent quality control

6. Zebra Pen F402 Retractable Ballpoint Pens for Doctors


ZEBRA Pen’s entry into our list of the best doctor’s pens is the F402, a stunning writing instrument best suited for the dedicated physician. Separating this ballpoint pen from others is its high-quality stainless steel barrel. This material has a different feel I cannot get from plastics.

The spring-loaded mechanism is also crisp and responsive. It will never fail doctors who want a snappy writing instrument. Like other high-quality physicians’ pens, these writing instruments offer seamless ink flow to guarantee clean and clear handwriting.

Some might be curious why these ballpoint pens are pricier than others. For starters, it’s a Zebra, known for its stylish looks, robust construction, and dependable writing performance. I would be more surprised if they were cheap. Without a doubt, these pens are perfect for modern doctors.


  • Stainless steel barrel
  • Writes clear and clean
  • Responsive spring-loaded mechanism


  • A bit pricey for a ballpoint pen

Pens for Doctors Buying Guide

Doctors’ pens are not different from a student’s or an office worker’s writing instrument. Everything depends on the physician’s preferences. However, you can consider the following tips if you’re confused about which pen to buy for a physician friend.

Consider comfort

Doctors write many things per patient and see tens of patients daily. There are also reports to sign, charts to review and annotate, and other writing tasks. Towards the end of the day, a physician’s hand and fingers would already grow numb. Writing becomes a chore, if not a challenge. Hence, writing comfort is a must-have for any doctor’s pen.

Check the barrel diameter, and pick a thin pen (15 to 25 mm diameter) for a doctor with small hands or slender fingers. On the other hand, thick-barreled pens (>33 mm diameter) are perfect for larger-handed doctors and those who want to hold pens loosely. Goldilocks pens have a 25-mm to 35-mm diameter, making them perfect if you’re unsure what pen to give.

You might also want to check the barrel’s balance and weight. Doctors write many times during work, making a heavyweight pen uncomfortable. Please don’t forget to assess the writing instrument’s grip because it can contribute to overall comfort.

Check the ink

A quick-drying ink is best for doctors, especially if they sign and write on heaps of patient records and other forms. Steer clear of water-based inks because these tend to dry long, increasing the risk of bleed-through and smudges.

Evaluate the pen closure system

Most doctors prefer a retractable pen, especially spring-loaded types. Pressing the pen’s top is more convenient than twisting the barrel to retract the pen tip. It is also less cumbersome than removing the cap and recapping after use.

Assess the value

The doctor’s pen must stand up to the rigors of clinical life. It must have a robust construction without undermining reasonable pricing.

Other Things to Consider Before Buying


Let us look at a few more considerations to help you buy the best writing instrument for yourself or a friend in the medical field.

What is a Pen for Doctors?

Doctors’ pens are writing instruments that medical practitioners and other healthcare professionals use in documenting and communicating patient care-related activities. These pens are not dissimilar to the ones we use at home, the workplace, or school. They have a barrel containing an in-dispensing mechanism, an opening-closure system, and a tip to allow the ink to flow through.

Types of Pens for Doctors

Pens for medical practitioners vary in type.

Ballpoint – This pen is the most versatile and hard-working writing instrument anyone, including doctors, can use. Oil-based ballpoint pens dry quickly, allowing physicians to ensure clear orders and prescriptions. These pens can write on any writing surface, are affordable, and are always ready to go.

Fountain Pens – Although not for everyday doctor’s use, some physicians love the elegance of these pens. The downside here is the water-based ink, which is slow to dry and prone to smear. But that doesn’t mean doctors cannot use it, especially if they want something delicate and fancy.

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Rollerball – This writing instrument combines a ballpoint’s practicality and versatility and a fountain pen’s elegant writing sans the tedious upkeep. Sadly, its ink is also water-based.

Gel Pen – Although these pens have a gel-water ink blend, the ink adheres to the writing surface and doesn’t bleed through.

Why Do Doctors Need Pen?

Experts say doctors “still” need pens because the healthcare industry, as a whole, is quite slow to adapt to digital technology advances. They would write almost everything instead of using computers and other digital devices. On the other hand, writing with a pen adds a touch of personality to the doctor’s orders, care plans, prescriptions, and other related activities.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do doctors write scribble?

It’s easy to understand why doctors’ handwriting looks like chicken scratch marks, making them incomprehensible to the average person. Physicians write a lot. They prescribe medications, order treatments, devise patient care plans, write patient medical and health histories, and finish reports, among other things.

Doctors also use many technical terms only medical and healthcare professionals understand. Physicians must write lightning-fast to accommodate every patient and other responsibilities. Unfortunately, their brain’s velocity is faster than the writing hand, producing words that look more like a child’s “scribble” to most of us outside the field.

What is the purpose of scribbling?

Scribbling is necessary for young children to develop hand-eye coordination and strengthen hand and finger muscles. However, doctors might have a different reason for scribbling.

Doctors scribble to cover an error in their handwriting. We must understand that physicians work with thousands of technical terms, with many impossible to write as legibly as they should. They make mistakes. Scribbling over these errors works. After all, everyone in the medical field understands.

What type of paper do doctors use?

Physicians use an exam table paper or “doctor roll” available in machine-glazed (MG) and creped finishes. Medical table papers with an MG finish are suitable for printing reports because it has a smooth surface. On the other hand, creped doctor rolls have a soft texture, perfect for scribbling and writing prescriptions.

What is doctor’s handwriting called?

People call a doctor’s handwriting different names, including “chicken scratch,” scribbles, and scripts. However you call them, physicians’ handwriting is illegible to ordinary folks.

Where to buy?

You can buy pens for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from leading e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Lowe’s, offering more choices and brands than physical stores. Alternatively, you can visit a school supplies store and shops selling writing instruments.

What is the Best Pen for Doctors?

  1. PILOT Precise V5 RT Rolling Ball Pens for Doctors
  2. SIKAO Cute Doctor Pen “Thank You”
  3. Pilot Multi Function Doctor Grip 4+1 Pen for Doctors
  4. SWTOOL Syringe Ballpoint Pen
  5. TUL GL1 Retractable Gel Pen for Doctors
  6. Zebra Pen F402 Retractable Ballpoint Pen for Doctors

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The best pens for doctors are comfortable to use, enabling physicians and other healthcare professionals to document and communicate with patients, families, and colleagues all day long without experiencing hand fatigue or finger cramps. These writing instruments also have smooth-flowing ink systems, ensuring medical and patient records and forms remain spotless for error-free communication. Ballpoint pens remain a favorite in the medical community.

You can get a classic-looking pen, such as the Zebra F402, or a whimsical one to put a smile on your favorite doctor’s face. You’ll never go wrong with these six pens for physicians. Get one today.

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