“COVID has made a difference,” added Dr. Wei. “Now physicians must comply and embrace the guilt of staying home for the sake of upholding best public health practices and minimizing transmission.”
Explore This IssueOctober 2023
Dr. Smith said that it’s understood by most physicians, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, that when someone isn’t healthy, they can’t reasonably take care of others.
“The requirement to take time off for COVID positivity, [even] in the absence of symptoms, and the realization of the potential significant consequences of transmitting a disease, has appropriately refocused the conversation,” said Dr. Smith.
Whenever he feels guilty about taking a sick day, Dr. Holland recalls the words of the Hippocratic Oath, which states, First, do no harm. “I certainly don’t want to come in and infect patients and make them feel worse than they already do,” he concluded.
Karen Appold is a freelance medical writer based in Lehigh Valley, PA.