How would you react if you went to the physician and the physician is visibly ill?

  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 05, 2012 3:04 AM GMT
    What if the physician had a cold and was coughing and sneezing and congested and all that but washed their hands/gloved, etc?

    This is something my classmates were debating and I was just curious what people think.

    The realistic consensus was that if you can still walk or sit and think half way you should go into work barring it is not a NICU or something like that?
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    Jan 05, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    Unless you thought that the cold somehow impaired your physician's ability to think, you really shouldn't have a problem. Doctors are people too.
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    Jan 05, 2012 3:26 AM GMT
    I'm not sure what doctor's do in this situation, but you have to consider what you're spreading to other people. If you have the flu, and you work in an area with elderly people or children, you could make them seriously ill.

    I've worked in offices before where people insisted on coming into work even with raging fevers. They infected everybody. It's crazy. Consider how your actions effect other people.
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    Jan 05, 2012 4:38 AM GMT
    People who have rhinovirus (colds) and influenza should stay home.

    http://flu.gov/

    Do your part to help the U.S. economy recover. Don't go to work when you're sick!
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    Jan 05, 2012 4:41 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidDo your part to help the U.S. economy recover. Don't go to work when you're sick!
    Exactly! Stay home and recover from that hangover like a good boy. icon_biggrin.gif
  • titus8229

    Posts: 84

    Jan 05, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    Hand washing is the single most effective way to stop the spread of disease. As long as he's doing that I would have no issue.
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    Jan 05, 2012 5:23 AM GMT
    Well..... be concerned of course and would see another physician. P.s Doctors are human and get sick like the rest of us! In case you wasn't aware
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    Jan 05, 2012 5:33 AM GMT
    If he was being hygienic about it......no problem
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    Jan 05, 2012 5:34 AM GMT
    In general, hospital policy if you are sick, stay home.

    I'd be concerned, but not enough to refuse to be seen and leave icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 05, 2012 5:38 AM GMT
    adam228 saidIn general, hospital policy if you are sick, stay home.

    I'd be concerned, but not enough to refuse to be seen and leave icon_razz.gif


    I saw a surgeon walking around with a saline lock the other day, she was getting fluids in between the scheduled cesareans. I know it's wrong, but I LOL'd...hard. THAT is dedication stupid.
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    Jan 05, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    commoncoll saidWhat if the physician had a cold and was coughing and sneezing and congested and all that but washed their hands/gloved, etc?

    This is something my classmates were debating and I was just curious what people think.

    The realistic consensus was that if you can still walk or sit and think half way you should go into work barring it is not a NICU or something like that?



    I walk out; I've done it twice. Once when we went in for a flu shot. The Doc had the flu, a whopping case of it. I told reception we were here for the vaccine, not the bug.

    -Doug

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    Jan 05, 2012 5:48 AM GMT
    Do what they do and ask them to wear a mask. My doc asked me to do that when I went in with 4 infections this year. Nothing rong with it.
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    Jan 05, 2012 6:31 AM GMT
    This was on the news recently. Regardless of your job, the courteous thing is to stay home if you have somethng that might be contagious. Unfortunately, most entry-level jobs discourage this and that mindset can often follow people into higher positions. I was actually on the phone calling in sick to JCPenney when I had to rush to the toilet and puke. The lady heard the whole ordeal and STILL wouldnt give me off. So I didn't go.
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    Jan 05, 2012 9:34 AM GMT
    I'd tell him that he needs to make an appointment with himself.
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    Jan 05, 2012 9:38 AM GMT
    I had a wonderful physician one time who had cancer. - The last time I saw him before he passed away, he looked so bad, I nearly apologized for coming to him with my piddly sinus infection which was obviously nothing compared to what he was going through.

    I nearly cried when I left.

    I miss him as my doctor, though.

    I can see how it would be uncomfortable, but I do think that if he takes the necessary precautions to not pass his germs along, you would be OK.
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    Jan 05, 2012 9:45 AM GMT
    Another reason why you peeps should allow us damn docs to have holidays! i work way over my limited time and still got on-calls.... horrible! and surrounded by infected patients... how am I not bound to get sick?

    Also, I think the physician would practice sanitation and hygiene when dealing with patients, so the flu and cold with blowing gooey stuff on the hands and gloves is nullified... else he would have failed med school.
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    Jan 05, 2012 2:34 PM GMT
    I am a resident physician. Unless you can be admitted to the hospital or your fetus is crowning, calling in sick is frowned upon. It is better to be present and practice sanity measures then to be absent.

    For residents, it creates problems in coverage when the schedule is messed with. Some other resident has to do his own work and yours at the same time. This prevents most people for using their sick days.

    I have heard from community and attending physicians that if they ever miss a day every couple of years or so, they continue to hear about it from patients and workmates for a long time to come.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 06, 2012 12:53 AM GMT
    So showing up to work when ill is called presenteeism. And it's apparently very pervasive in some work environments like healthcare and education.

    This study says more than 60% of residents showed up to work when ill. Some didn't have time to see the doctor.
    http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2010/20100914-presenteeism.html
    Some studies show up to 80% of residents working when ill.

    In this study, 1,339 UK physicians were asked if they would take the day off if they had symptoms of a severe cold. 87% of general practitioners and 57.8% of hospital consultants responded “definitely not” versus 3l.9% of the comparison group, salaried office workers. http://www.springerlink.com/content/w5g3n466010714n8/fulltext.pdf
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Jan 06, 2012 1:11 AM GMT
    The doctor with a cold or flu is probably much more sanitary than you are on any given day, so long as he's not sneezing or coughing directly into your face.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 06, 2012 1:47 AM GMT
    dancedancekj saidThe doctor with a cold or flu is probably much more sanitary than you are on any given day, so long as he's not sneezing or coughing directly into your face.

    Wouldn't talking or laughing at a close distance also spray the bacteria/viruses into the air? If the patient is already ill, they probably don't appreciate a family physician treating their kid. As some here have said, they would leave. If it's a hospital, the admitted patient probably can't leave.

    The other issue is how tired the doctor is. I don't want my doctor to be thinking "How soon do I get to go to bed?"

  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 06, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    carminea saidI am a resident physician. Unless you can be admitted to the hospital or your fetus is crowning, calling in sick is frowned upon. It is better to be present and practice sanity measures then to be absent.

    Based on your age, you're probably a senior. Have you ever called in sick? What happened when you did?
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Jan 06, 2012 2:03 AM GMT
    commoncoll said
    dancedancekj saidThe doctor with a cold or flu is probably much more sanitary than you are on any given day, so long as he's not sneezing or coughing directly into your face.

    Wouldn't talking or laughing at a close distance also spray the bacteria/viruses into the air? If the patient is already ill, they probably don't appreciate a family physician treating their kid. As some here have said, they would leave. If it's a hospital, the admitted patient probably can't leave.

    The other issue is how tired the doctor is. I don't want my doctor to be thinking "How soon do I get to go to bed?"



    I wear a mask, which is even more efficient at keeping items in than it is keeping things out. I'm more at a risk of catching a disease the patient is carrying, than the patient is of catching something I have.

    If the patient is ill enough to be seeing the doctor, a cold or flu shouldn't be on their lists of worries to be caught. If it's a physical, you're going to have minimal contact with the health care provider anyway.

    That being said, it's the responsible thing to do to take the day off should you become moderately to severely sick with a cold or flu because you have the responsibility to project an air of sanitation and health in your place of business. Which is kind of bullshit, since you would be more likely to catch the cold from a fellow patient, a door handle, or going to the grocery store, but appearances must be maintained, and you'll probably recover more quickly if you take the day off.