Why doctors don’t take sick leaveBMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6719 (Published 09 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6719
- Kathy Oxtoby, freelance journalist
Doctors are much less likely than other healthcare workers to take days off sick, with official figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showing that they take a third as many sick days as other NHS staff and a fifth the number taken by healthcare assistants and ambulance staff.1
It may be that doctors are less prone to becoming ill, rather than being less likely to take sick leave when ill. The high socioeconomic status of doctors might put them at lower risk of illness, and perhaps their frequent exposure to common colds and viruses helps their immune systems to resist illness.
But Keith Hopcroft, a GP in Essex, says that there is a culture in medicine of not taking time off when sick. “Battling on through illness and not letting the side down has traditionally been seen as an attribute—and …
Log in using your username and password
Log in through your institution
Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial