Doctor’s Note


Doctor’s Note

Leah McCabe

Written by Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

Dr. Katalin Karolyi

Reviewed by Dr. Katalin Karolyi

December 13, 2022 / Read Time 7 minutes

Updated November 10, 2023

How do I get a doctor's note for work or school?

We all need a doctor's note at some point in our lives when medical conditions interfere with our other responsibilities.

You may have wondered, how can I get a doctor's note?

Request a Doctor's Note>>

Sometimes, the hassle of setting up an appointment, traveling to the office, and asking for a physical note seems too much effort, especially when you're sick.

For some, this kind of effort may make it not worth getting the note, or even impossible if your doctor has an appointment available.

If you've ever experienced this dilemma, you're not alone. Minor medical conditions that might not otherwise be worth the effort or cost for a note place you in the difficult position of deciding between your health and your commitments. Fortunately, PlushCare is here to help.

You can talk to an experienced online doctor and get a doctor's note through PlushCare. Our board-certified physicians are highly trained and can diagnose your condition and prescribe necessary medications.

Do You Have To Pay For A Doctor's Note?

Doctor's notes are a free accommodation provided you pay for medical care.

PlushCare provides the medical treatment you need from your home and even gets you a primary or urgent care doctor's note when you need one.

Appointments  as low as $20

Use our cost checker to see what you'll pay

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What is a Doctor's Note?

Otherwise known as a doctor's excuse, it is a piece of paper received from a medical professional to prove that you saw a doctor.

It is a legal document produced directly by the doctor or their office administration that affirms you had an appointment.

Using a doctor's excuse template is illegal and unethical forging such a document. However, it is common for people to use fake doctor's notes to get out of commitments at school or work.

For some, you might even be showing symptoms but cannot make an appointment in time to justify your absence. Whatever the case, a real doctor's excuse is always the wise option. Luckily now, it's the easy choice too!

Getting a doctor's excuse from an online doctor is the same as getting a note from an in-person doctor.

How to Get a Doctor's Note

With PlushCare, you can get a doctor's note online. Our doctors conduct virtual appointments across the United States via telephone or video calls for medical conditions.

Here is a step-by-step overview of how you can get a doctor's excuse with PlushCare:

  • First, schedule a virtual doctor's appointment at a convenient time on the PlushCare mobile app or website.

  • Then, could you meet with your doctor online at your scheduled time? A board-certified physician from one of the top 50 U.S. medical schools will listen to you and answer your questions.

  • Our trusted medical professionals can examine your symptoms, give a diagnosis, and write you any necessary prescriptions or treatment plans, along with a doctor's note, if you qualify.

When to Get a Note From Your Doctor

It would be best if you got a doctor's note when you have a condition or appointment that usually interferes with your ability to attend work or school. 

This may include:

  • Illness

  • Injury 

  • Extended absence 

Common Conditions Doctors Write Notes For

Doctor's Note For Contagious Illness

If you are contagious, it is your responsibility to protect the health of your coworkers and customers by staying home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are experiencing symptoms resembling COVID-19, you should see a doctor and get a doctor's note to be excused from work or school. This is because COVID-19 is a highly contagious illness, and being excused will give you time to recover while keeping others safe.

Returning to work once you're better will mean you are more productive and efficient. Further, getting those around you sick only hurts the output of the whole workplace. Thus, getting an official doctor's note for missing work will help maintain the health and well-being of yourself and your co-workers.

Some common illnesses include:

Doctor's Note For Injury

Most workplaces consider an injury that inhibits your ability to perform your job reasonably an appropriate need for sick leave. Supervisors usually prefer their employees to work efficiently rather than dragging out the length of an injury and working below capacity. 

Doctor's Note for Medical Appointment

Some workplaces allow you to use sick days to attend doctor appointments. This healthy habit prepares you to maintain proper health and reduces your likelihood of needing sick leave.

Doctor's Note for Diagnosed Medical Condition

Make sure to notify the human resources department when you start a new job about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. If you require regular appointments or scheduled rest time, provide your employer with proper documentation from a medical professional.

Doctor's Note For Hospitalization

If your condition requires hospitalization or treatment by a medical professional, you can use sick days to cover your absences. Please talk about your extended leave options with your human resources department.

Doctor's Note For Pregnancy or Delivery

Pregnancy and delivery are usually covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide coverage for work days missed due to pregnancy-related reasons. Your employer may also have a policy related to prenatal care and paternal leave.

Doctor's Note for School

If you have a contagious illness or a condition that affects your ability to attend school, you can request a doctor's note for school from one of our doctors. After a physician diagnoses you, they can write you a doctor's note for school if they see that it's necessary.

Doctor's Note for Remote Work

Suppose you have a medical condition that increases your risk of a severe illness from COVID-19 and need to request accommodation to continue working remotely. In that case, you can submit a doctor's note to your employer. Please review your company's guidelines or talk to your HR representative.

Extended Medical Leave and Doctors' Notes

If you miss work for an extended period, such as more than one week, you typically need to provide an official doctor's note to your employer. Having a message will allow you to be covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) while on leave.

You should know that, due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the doctor is not allowed to specify your diagnosis in the note unless you provide permission. The doctor still may have to include scheduled treatment dates that interfere with your ability to be at work. Review your company's extended medical leave policy to learn more.

To qualify for an extended leave doctor's note, including jury duty notes, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have established rapport and continuity with a PlushCare primary care physician and have had regular (in general, three or more) visits at PlushCare for that condition

  • You must have completed recommended tests/referrals and provided prior medical records in support of your claim

Request a Doctor's Note>>

What Does a Doctor's Note Need to Say?

A doctor's note needs to include the following information:

  • The date when you had your doctor's appointment

  • The medical reason why you had to miss work

  • If any time of absence from work is required

Doctor's Note Template

It would be best if you spoke with a doctor to get a legitimate doctor's note. If you are wondering what a doctor's note looks like, here is an example template that shows the typical format of a note.

Online Doctors Note

Now that you know what a doctor's note looks like, you can schedule an appointment to get a real doctor's note.

Filling out a doctor's note template with false information or forging a doctor's signature is unethical and illegal. Think twice before forging a doctor's note, there are serious consequences. PlushCare makes getting a real doctor's note even more convenient than faking a note, while eliminating the risks.

  1. 1

    Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  3. 3

    Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

What is the Role of a Doctor's Note For Work?

A doctor's note for work performs three critical tasks.

  • It verifies the necessity of your visit

  • Recommends the length of absence necessary

  • Mentions any special accommodations you may need in order to return to work

How Do I Get a Doctor's Note from PlushCare?

All PlushCare doctors are highly qualified and experienced to provide online diagnoses and treatment for telehealth patients.

To get a doctor's note from PlushCare, you would start by making an appointment with an online PlushCare doctor. During your video or phone appointment, the doctor will help review your symptoms, medical history, and current medications. If the doctor deems a note to be medically necessary, then they will send you a doctor's note.

PlushCare physicians can provide simple forms such as work/school excuses or return to work/school documents whenever clinically appropriate.

Please discuss your need for a work note with your PlushCare physician at the time of the appointment for swift processing. In some instances, PlushCare is able to provide more substantial documents like FMLA forms, Disability forms or Handicap/DMV card documents. In order to help you, these evaluations may require more than one appointment so the doctor can learn more about your condition and review any prior medical records. Sometimes, additional tests or an in-person evaluation may be necessary.

PlushCare is HIPAA-compliant; we value your privacy and use secure electronic record systems to keep your personal health information safe.

Book an appointment and receive a doctor's note for work, school, or any other commitments in your life. Our nationwide doctors commonly write doctor's notes for all types of conditions and 97% of conditions are successfully treated on the first visit.

Read More About How an Online Doctor Can Help You


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • Patients Perception of Doctor Notes. Accessed January 25, 2021

  • Is an employer permitted to ask for a doctor’s note when an employee has a health-related absence? Accessed January 25, 2021

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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