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My Professor Wants a Doctor’s Note

    Most institutions have a study calendar that students are supposed to follow. There is also a threshold of class attendance that a student must meet for a professor to approve that he or she has indeed covered the required coursework. That is why there is a student’s attendance list provided in institutions showing the number of class sessions each student has attended.

    So, if you have not been attending classes, it is possible that you have not met the required coursework threshold. For this reason, your professor will demand an explanation of why you have been missing his or her classes. However, if you have missed class for varied reasons like sickness, your professor may demand a doctor’s note. But the question is, does a professor have a right to demand a doctor’s? Well, read on to learn more about this topic.

    Reasons Why Professors Asks for a Doctor’s Note

    It is common for students not to attend classes. That is why it is not surprising for a professor to walk into a lecture hall only to find empty chairs. While some students may be absent for genuine reasons, some may miss class simply because they don’t feel like attending the classes. However, there are instances when you are likely to miss classes because of sickness. Although this is a valid reason, the professor will require you to provide a doctor’s note. 

    This is what will act as proof that you were sick and that you have been undergoing treatment. The reason for asking for a doctor’s note is because students usually lie, and so, professors may not believe a verbal excuse from students.

    Is a Professor Allowed to Ask for a Doctor’s Note?

    In most institutions, it is the responsibility of a professor to ensure that students attend his or her lectures. That is why he or she will monitor every student’s class attendance.  Your lecturer also has a right to know the reasons for your absence, especially if you have been away beyond what the course work would allow.

    If you have been away because of sickness and undergoing treatment, the professor will like to confirm if that is true. The only way for him or her to verify is for you to bring a doctor’s note. The document will act as proof that you were absent because of health reasons.

    How Will a Doctor’s Note Help a Student?

    If you have been away from class, it means that you are lagging behind coursework. So, to be able to catch up with others, you may need the help of a professor to organize part-time classes for you. So, if indeed you were sick, the doctor’s note should confirm this, and he or she may step in to ensure that you do the exams.

    Can a Professor Reject a Doctor’s Note?

    If you are wondering if a professor can reject a doctor’s note, then the answer is yes. Remember that professors know that students have ways of coming up with fake notes. This is why they will want to confirm the validity of the note you present to them.

    While it is illegal for doctors to disclose their patients’ information, a professor can call to find out from the doctor the validity of the doctor’s note. He or she may call to confirm if what you are presenting is from that health facility.

    The Implication of Presenting a Fake Doctor’s Note

    While some students may want to forge a doctor’s note to justify their absence from class, it is an illegal and unethical move that may land you into trouble. So, as a student, it is good to be as honest and genuine as possible. If you lie, the school administration might take disciplinary action against you, depending on the institution’s policies.


    Professor asking for a doctor’s note is not bad, but he or she should not use it to victimize students. So, honesty is paramount, not just from the student’s part but the professor’s too. The information here should help you to know the right thing to do as a student should your professor demand a doctor’s note.

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