The way to a doctor's unfit certificate is...

Blog - The way to a doctor's unfit certificate is...

Dr Mary Wyatt | Published: March 10, 2015

A United States study published on March 14 found when patients requested specific medications from the treating doctor, they were much more likely to be prescribed that medication.¹

Actors were sent to see doctors about musculoskeletal problems. Some of the actors requested medication they said they had seen advertised on TV, or medication friends had taken, while some actors were instructed to leave any medication up to the doctor. Those who requested specific meds were much more likely to get that medication.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. Pharmaceutical companies can advertise in America, and they market heavily directly to patients. You’ve only got a watch an hour of television in the States to see and be amazed by the multiple ads for prescription medications.

Around the world organisations are looking to change the way doctors certify people as fit or unfit for work, and it’s a focus in Australia.

Regular readers of our site will know our views on this. The way to the doctor is through the patient. If the patient wants to stay at work or go back to work, and you set up a sensible set of duties for them to do, it’s unusual for the doctor to say no.

Using the same strategy as the multinational pharmaceutical companies – some of the best marketers in the world – is likely to pay off. Influence the patient and you influence the doctor.

Patients influence the doctor when the prescription pad is out. They are even better at influencing the doctor when certificates are being completed.

¹ Patient Requests for Specific Drugs Have Major Impact on Prescribing, Reports Study