A licensed physician's signature is required for a doctor's return to work letter. The patient typically requests the letter from the doctor who originally treated his injury or illness, but another physician can also prepare the letter.
A doctor's return to work letter provides evidence that a physician has examined the employee and decided he is fit to return to work. In the letter, the physician states whether the employee is able to return to full or restricted duty. If he is only capable of restricted duty, the letter lists the applicable restrictions, such as a restriction against lifting or reaching overhead. These restrictions may be permanent or last until a specified date. The letter should also state that the employee is to be sent home if modified duty is not available during his shift.
An office visit may be required before the doctor releases the employee for work. The exact format of the letter may vary for each medical practitioner so long as it includes the required details. The letter must list the date on which the employee is to be medically released to return to his job. Both the physician and employee must sign and date the bottom of the letter.