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What to do when a student forges a note from the doctor


We were contacted by a local school today questioning a doctor’s note from the provider. We had the school send a copy of the note and learned that the parent of the patient (the patient is a minor) had created a letter that appeared to come from our practice. It looked like it was on letterhead, sort of, and included the practice information and the doctor’s name at the bottom of the letter. It was not signed but we still consider it a forgery since they are passing off a document as though we created it when we did not. Do you have any further ideas on how to deal with this?


Dealing with a student or parent who has forged a doctor’s signature on a note to excuse a school absence is a serious matter that requires careful consideration and appropriate action. Here are the steps you should take as a medical office manager:

  1. Verify the Forgery: Before taking any action, ensure that the signature on the note is indeed a forgery. This may involve comparing the forged signature to the doctor’s genuine signature on file. If you are not sure, consult with the doctor to confirm the authenticity.
  2. Document the Incident: Keep a detailed record of the forged note, including a copy of the note itself and any other relevant information. Document when and how you discovered the forgery.
  3. Communicate with the Student’s Parents or Guardians: Contact the student’s parents or guardians to inform them of the situation. Be factual and clear in your communication, and provide them with a copy of the forged note as evidence. It’s essential to maintain open lines of communication with the student’s family throughout the process.
  4. Contact the School: Reach out to the school to inform them of the forgery and your investigation. Provide them with the evidence and any other information they may need to address the situation on their end.
  5. Consider Legal Implications: Forgery is a serious offense, and depending on your local laws and regulations, it may have legal consequences. Consult with your legal counsel to understand the potential legal ramifications and how to proceed.
  6. Review Office Procedures: Evaluate your office’s procedures for handling note requests and ensure they are secure and protected against potential forgeries in the future. Implement additional safeguards if necessary.
  7. Consequences for the Student: Depending on the severity of the forgery and your office’s policies, there may be consequences for the student. This could include notifying their school of the forgery, discussing the issue with their parents, or taking other appropriate actions.
  8. Maintain Professionalism: Throughout the process, maintain professionalism and respect for all parties involved, including the student. Remember that the primary goal is to address the issue and prevent it from happening again, not to escalate the situation unnecessarily.
  9. Educational Opportunity: Use this incident as an opportunity to educate the student about the consequences of their actions. Encourage them to understand the importance of honesty and responsibility.
  10. Follow Up: After taking appropriate actions, follow up with the school, parents, and the student to ensure that the matter is resolved satisfactorily and that any necessary steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence.

Dealing with a forgery incident requires careful handling to ensure fairness, legality, and ethical conduct. Consult with legal experts if needed and maintain a clear, transparent, and respectful communication throughout the process.









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