Bridget May letter: Doctors, take care when issuing 'note'
I am an employer in Fargo, and am almost daily bombarded, by employees and customers, with requests (or more often, demands) for exceptions to policies, procedures and regulations based on the old standby -- "the doctor's note." Countless hours h...
I am an employer in Fargo, and am almost daily bombarded, by employees and customers, with requests (or more often, demands) for exceptions to policies, procedures and regulations based on the old standby -- "the doctor's note." Countless hours have been spent finagling the "legalese" of various programs such as Workers Comp, and the ADA, to name two. As if the bureaucracy of these programs were not complicated enough, the issues are compounded by the inevitable "doctor's note" which I am required to take as gospel.
It has been my experience that doctors will often put anything in writing that the patient requests, with little or no examination, nor simple verification of the condition about which they are writing. I have even had one doctor admit to me that he penned a note based on what the patient instructed him to write in order to acquire an exception to a policy. Shouldn't the doctor be telling the patient what his or her condition is, and not the other way around?
Doctors, I beg you -- I am certainly sensitive to your busy schedules -- however please, rather than saving a few minutes by putting in writing something that you have not medically verified at the time you are writing about it, take the time to truly ascertain the medical condition and needs of the patient in front of you.
Also, take a moment to consider the true motives behind requests for notes. Is the patient genuinely in need of an exception or variance because of a medical condition, or are they merely seeking the most expeditious route to something they want?
The ease of getting the sacred "doctor's note" continues to encourage the less honest people in our community to abuse the system, and adds infinite headaches to those of us who are simply trying to perform a service for our customers.