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Independents' Day

It's ridiculous to put onus on GPs for students' sick letters

How have we got into this ridiculous situation whereby every time a student is off sick they are required to get a letter from the doctor?

Nine times out of 10 we have not seen the person during the relevant period and get asked to corroborate their stories of colds, flu, tiredness, and so on.

Last week I was asked to see a girl who told me she missed her exam because she was having a painful period. I laughed. I told her a letter was not worth the paper it was written on. I wrote a note saying 'this patient tells me....'.

If the college feels a student is under-performing that should be your assessment. It is unreasonable to put the onus on the GP. Some doctors will charge a fee for such a letter (usually around £10) but others are more compassionate, remembering their impecunious student days.

We end up seeing hundreds of students with no medical problems, just needing a letter.

Please can we see an end to this iniquitous practice.

Dr David Rubra


London N8

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