Sick doctors at work: how often does it happen?

There are situations that have not changed after the pandemic. The vocation of health It leads them, on many occasions, to go to work even if they are sick, despite the fact that they themselves sign sick leave patients for reasons why they do come to do their work. The reasons behind this fact are varied, although most recognize that they do it out of “commitment to their patients” or because they consider it to be a “show of weakness”.

These are the conclusions of a study carried out by Medscape in the United States, in which they certify that doctors are one of the groups that carry out this practice the most. Half of those surveyed for this report say they have come to work with symptoms compatible with the flu or Covid-19 such as nasal congestion, cough or sore throat. On the other hand, if the symptoms are stronger, such as fever or pharyngitis, 27 percent in the first case and 7 percent in the second, decide to comply with their workday. Only two percent of those who participated in this study stated that they never went to work if they feel sick.

Among the reasons that doctors allege for making the decision to go to the workplace in a situation of illness, is not wanting to see their monthly remuneration. If they get sick and cause low, the payroll would suffer so, if they don’t feel bad enough to have to stay in bed, they decide to go to the consultations.

Commitment to the patient

On the other hand, the vocation It has an important weight in making this decision. In this Medscape report, 73 percent of the specialists surveyed say that commitment to their patients is the main cause of not wanting to take time off work. Additionally, 72 percent believe they have a professional duty not to overburden their co-workers who would have to take on more patients if they stay at home.

know or recognize disease severity that they may suffer is another of the reasons that tip the balance when it comes to going to work or not. Half of the doctors who have participated in this study say that some of the times when they are sick and decide to continue with their professional activity, it is because they do not feel bad enough to stay home. On the other hand, 48 percent do so because they consider that Has a lot of work pending as to be absent.

After the pandemic, more doctors work sick

It is not surprising that the pandemic has even increased this common practice among doctors. In 2019, before the outbreak of Covid-19, 70 percent acknowledged having gone to work while sick between one and five times, while 13 percent claimed to have done it between six and ten times.

The effects of the coronavirus have caused an increase and, in 2022, 85 percent of those surveyed confess to having gone for a consultation despite being sick on more than one occasion. This increase means that 15 percent more doctors decide to comply with their working hours despite considering that they should stay home due to illness.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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