03:40 AM

Despite patient risks, most docs, nurse practitioners go to work when sick

Although they know the risks it poses to patients, most doctors and advanced practice clinicians (APCs) admit they go to work when sick, according to a new survey published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Why? The majority say it's because of staffing concerns, they don't want to let their colleagues or patients down, they fear their colleagues will ostracize them if they do call in sick and they have concerns about continuity of care.

Their decision to go to work when ill flies in the face of the medical field's guiding principle of first do no harm, write Jeffrey R. Starke, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, in an accompanying opinion piece. Clinicians risk spreading infections to patients, especially the most vulnerable ones.

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