Views & Reviews Starting Out

Let someone else sign off sick notes

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 30 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7750
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

“There’s an outbreak of diarrhoea, vomiting, and MRCP exams at the hospital,” lamented my wife, complaining about being on call without the usual complement of junior staff. “Doctor” and “sickie” aren’t two words that often appear in the same sentence but it would be naive to suggest that doctors never fake illness to avoid work. And if professionals—widely perceived to be paragons of virtue—do it, just imagine what is happening among the country at large. The unfortunate fact is that long …

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