The Sickly Concept of Medical Certificates


It’s rare for me to voluntarily visit a doctor’s office unless one of my limbs is not quite intact. However, with my current job I am required to provide a medical certificate to take a day of sick leave. For the sake of avoiding doctors I am actually more inclined to go to work than rest to get better faster. However recently when I was too ill to stand for 60 seconds, I had no choice but to admit defeat and take a sick day. Even though it meant I would have to take on the impossible task of dragging myself out of bed to visit a doctor who would tell me that I had something viral and that the best solution would be to go back to bed and rest.

After a few hours I mustered the energy to walk to the doctor’s office. Driving was out of the question because I definitely was not coherent enough to parallel park into a matchbox-sized spot. I expected the receptionist at the clinic to be sympathetic to my voiceless self but that was not the case. Instead this professional from the medical industry kept asking that I speak louder. She would have rendered me speechless had I not already been.

So I sat in a waiting room full of sick people unsure who would infect whom first. When I finally did see the doctor he told me exactly what I expected to hear. Still I wasn’t there for his advice. I was there for the sick leave certificate. Clearly the clinic valued the certificate more too because they charged me more for that piece of paper than they did for a consultation with someone who had spent years in medical school.