A doctor's excuse letter should include the patient's name, the reason for the excuse and the length of time the patient may need to refrain from an activity. It should also include the doctor's contact information.
A doctor's excuse letter should be specific to the patient. Therefore, it should not only include the patient's name, but it should also indicate the reason why a patient needs to be excused from work, school or another activity. For example, the doctor should state that the patient has a contagious disease and could infect co-workers. Alternatively, a patient might have an injury that requires rest in order for it to heal properly.
The note should state the length of time for which the patient should be excused. If a follow-up appointment is needed before the patient can return from medical leave, the note should state that as well.
The letter should contain the doctor's contact information, in case an employer or school administrator wants to verify the letter's authenticity. The doctor should also print the note on letterhead and sign it. These two actions make the letter look professional and legitimate.
A doctor should complete the letter in a reasonable amount of time following the request. He can give the letter to the patient, a parent or a guardian to forward to an employer or school, if needed.