How to get medical leave from doctor: A step-by-step guide

Medical leave is a form of absence from work that is typically granted to employees who need time off to deal with a health issue. Medical leave from work is not just important for the employee’s health, but also for the productivity of the company. However, most employees are not sure how to request medical leave from their doctors. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to get medical leave from a doctor.

Step 1: Evaluate your health issue

The first step in obtaining medical leave is to evaluate your health condition. Determine whether you are physically or mentally unable to work. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the situation and get a professional opinion on what course of action to take. Your healthcare provider will provide an assessment of your physical or mental condition and may prescribe treatment, refer you to a specialist, or suggest you stay on medical leave for a certain period of time.

What should you bring to your doctor’s appointment?

When visiting your doctor, bring any previous medical records related to your condition, as well as any other supporting documents you have. You must be able to explain to your doctor how your condition is affecting your work, how long you will be absent, and what type of work restrictions you may need. Keep in mind that your doctor’s notes will be required later when making an application for medical leave from work.

Step 2: Inform your employer of your intention to take medical leave

After evaluating your health condition, the next step is to notify your employer of your intention to take medical leave. You may be required to give a formal letter to your HR department, stating that you need to take medical leave due to your health condition. You must provide specific information regarding your medical condition, the dates you will be off work, and your expected return to work. You should also specify whether you will need any accommodations, such as a reduced schedule, work from home, or other modifications to your job duties.

What if you cannot provide advance notice?

If your health condition is sudden or unexpected and you cannot provide advanced notice, you should contact your supervisor or HR department as soon as possible to inform them of your situation.

Step 3: Obtain medical certification from your doctor

Before applying for medical leave from work, you will need to obtain medical certification from your physician or healthcare provider. Your medical certification is a document that verifies that you have a medical condition that requires you to take time off work to recover. Your physician or healthcare provider must provide information on your health status, the type of medical treatment you need, and restrictions on your work activities.

What Information Should Be Included in Your Medical Certification?

The medical certification should include the following information:

  • Your name and the date the certification was completed
  • A statement indicating that you need medical leave from work
  • The expected date of return to work
  • A statement indicating any work restrictions and recommendations for accommodations
  • The treating physician’s signature and credentials

You should check with your employer or HR department to obtain the appropriate medical certification form. Some employers may require you to use their specific form or require the form be signed by a specific type of healthcare provider.

Step 4: Submit Your Request for Medical Leave

After obtaining medical certification from your physician and informing your employer of your intention to take medical leave, the next step is to submit your request for medical leave. You must complete the application for medical leave, which should include your physician’s statement, personal information, and any supporting documentation. Submit the completed form and other documents to your HR department or supervisor.

What Should You Include in Your Application for Medical Leave?

Your application for medical leave should include the following information:

  • Your name and personal information
  • The dates on which you will be absent and the expected date of return to work
  • The reason for your medical leave
  • Your physician’s statement or certification
  • Any supporting documentation or explanations of your condition
  • Any work accommodations you may require

Step 5: Await Approval of Your Medical Leave Request

After submitting your request for medical leave, your employer will review your application, along with the supporting documents provided. The employer will typically approve or deny your request within a few days or weeks. You should check with your employer to know the acceptable time frame for a response.

What if your Medical Leave Request is Denied?

If your medical leave request is denied, you can speak to your HR department or employer to request more information about the denial. You may also check to see if your company has an appeals process for denials. If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you can consult with an employment lawyer.


Obtaining medical leave from a doctor is not as complicated as it may seem. The steps outlined in this article will help you navigate the process and make it easier for you to get the time off you need to attend a pressing health issue. With this guide, you will understand how to get medical leave from your doctor and your employer without complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: How Long Can I Take Medical Leave from Work?
  • A: The duration of medical leave is usually determined by your healthcare provider. The employer’s policies for medical leave may also determine the length.
  • Q: Can an Employer Deny My Request for Medical Leave?
  • A: An employer cannot deny your medical leave if you meet the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). For example, if you have a serious health condition, have worked for your current employer for at least 12 months, and meet other FMLA requirements.
  • Q: Can My Employer Fire Me While I am on Medical Leave?
  • A: No, your employer cannot terminate your employment while you are on medical leave. However, you can still be fired for other reasons, such as poor performance or job elimination.
  • Q: Is Medical Leave Paid or Unpaid?
  • A: The answer to this question depends on your employer’s policies. Some employers provide paid medical leave, while others offer unpaid medical leave. You should refer to your company’s policy regarding medical leave for clarity.


1. Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition

2. Medical and Family Leave in the United States in 2018

3. Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the ADA

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