The Medical Excuse Note


The above letter, from a Canadian doctor, has been flying around the internet recently.  It’s easy to see this doctor’s point but, alas, life is not that simple.  Let me play devil’s advocate for a minute.   In this country, you cannot fire someone for being ill and missing days at work.  That is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  So what happens when you have the scammers who take days off of work for every little thing?  And don’t say they don’t exist.  Disability fraud is rampant.  Medicaid fraud is rampant.   So for these people, what does the boss do?  Well, she makes them clear hurdles and get a medical note to make it harder for them to keep doing it.  This is not about the cancer patient with chemo treatment.  This is for the irresponsible ones who are hung over or have a little back ache or have the sniffles. Whatever.  The bottom line is that doctors are caught in the middle, as always, and it sucks but there are two sides to this “medical excuse note” story.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “The Medical Excuse Note

  1. RW
    April 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    No, you’re not caught in the middle. You have no contractual, fiduciary, or ethical relationship with the employer. Doctor-patient relationship only. Deal with it. If you think the patient can work, just give them a note saying they were seen in the office, and let the boss deal with it.

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