How to Write a Medical Excuse Letter for Patients

Doctor writing a letter with a pen.
Doctor writing a letter with a pen. (Image: Remains/iStock/Getty Images)

Most employers and educational institutions require an official medical excuse before they will modify work duties or grant a medical leave. In cases where more detailed information is needed and the patient authorizes its release, a medical excuse letter is a more appropriate choice than a standard form that requires only the effective dates and a signature. A simple letter written in a business letter format on official company letterhead is usually sufficient.

Business Letter Format

Include the doctor’s name, the name of the medical practice and the contact information for both if it isn’t included in the letterhead. Also, include the current date and the name, position and contact information for the recipient, such as an employer or school administrator. Address the recipient by name and title in the salutation and close the letter with a personally signed signature.

Required Inclusions

Depending on what the patient authorizes, the letter can provide either detailed or general information about an injury or medical condition. A general description might simply say that the patient has a hand injury and cannot use the hand for work. A more detailed description might include specifics about the nature and extent of the injury. Also, include specifics about job duties a patient can and cannot perform, how long he will not be able to perform them, or the length of the medical leave request, if applicable. Include the employee's contact information, such as a telephone number an email address, in case the recipient has questions or needs more information.

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