Doctor’s Note for Work Absence

When an employee has an illness, injury or some kind of a health problem, a doctor’s note is required if there is a need to be absent from the workplace. A doctor’s note is a document that contains the clarification and proof of an employee being unwell. It shows that the employee has visited the doctor and certifies an appointment. Doctor’s notes are used by employees, students, parents and healthcare providers.

Many corporations are strict about their employees being absent from work, but the policy regarding the health condition note from the doctor varies from company to company. If multiple days are to be missed by the employee, an official note will most likely be required. An employee may also require a doctor’s note to show physical fitness, travel fitness or when taking part in some physical sports activity.

U.S law certainly protects sick and injured employees; if an employee has presented the HR department or the Employer, the doctor’s note along with the required documents, the employer cannot take serious action against him/her. The employee will also be able to enjoy all the benefits presented under the FMLA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, if a doctor’s note has been submitted and absence from work is required.

While writing the note, it is not required for the doctor to disclose the specific reason for the illness, but //if there is a treatment needed, the schedule should be mentioned in the note, along with the dates.

Uses of Doctor’s Notes

A Doctor’s note can be used in various occasions, such as:

  • Workplace Absence: If an employee wants to take a certain time off from the workplace, in case of a health matter, a doctor’s note is needed to be submitted to the HR or the required authorities.
  • Travel: Sometimes, travelers have to show evidence that they are physically capable of traveling to a certain destination.
  • Sports Fitness Verification: Many times, schools and clubs require players to present a doctor’s note for them to pass the physical exam to show their competence to participate in sports. 
  • Employment Fitness Verification: Often companies require passing of a physical exam so they can get a doctor’s ‘Fit to work’ note before getting employed.
  • Accommodation due to Disability: A doctor’s note can also be used when disable employees need special accommodations. Sometimes, the disabilities are not evident and a doctor’s note is required, for example, any heart condition, etc. 


The format of a doctor’s note is as follows:

Title: What the note is in regards to.

Doctor’s/Clinic’s Information: Name, Title, Address, Contact number, Email.


Patient Information: Patient’s Name, Gender, Age, Date of Birth, Address, etc.

Specify the reason for being absent, such as illness, injury or any other health condition.

Time: Specify the time duration for which the employee will be absent from the work.

Do not go into too many details about the reason for being absent. Keep it brief and to the point.

Complimentary Closing: Regards, Sincerely, Respectfully.


Sample Notes

Note 1:

Doctor’s Excuse Note for Work

XYZ Healthcare Center
Richmond, Virginia

Name: Anthony Marks

Gender: Male
Age: 34

Date: 12th April, 20XX

I would like Mr. Anthony Marks to be excused from work for 1 week, from 13th April 20XX to 20th April 20XX. It has been concluded that he has an arm injury and I am prescribing him complete bed rest for 7 days.


Dr. A.C. Beth


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 21 Kb | Download

Note 2:

Authorization of Work Absence

XYZ Clinic
A.B. Beth
Los Angeles, California

Name: William Smithson

Gender: Male
Age: 39

Date: 12th April, 20XX

This is to certify that Mr. William Smithson was under Dr. A. C. Beth’s care on 11th April, 20XX.

He will not be able to return to work on 12th April 20XX.

Doctor’s Comments:

Mr. Smithson is in a state of shock due to the accident and he is advised to take some time off work to fully recover.


Dr. A.C. Beth


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 21 Kb | Download