I'd post the link, but it was a while back, and I don't feel like searching for it.
Calling in sick is antithesis to our profession. I know of neurosurgery and anesthesia residents, dehydrated and drained from GI illnesses, who hook up their veins to a bag of normal saline to keep working through the night. As a pathologist I thought - lucky that they had the resources and know how to be able to do that.
I called in sick once during residency - it was the night before my rotation at the State Crime Lab. I had been up all night vomiting due to God knows what bug and remember laying on the bathroom floor at one point with my arms drawn up in a semi-state of paralysis, probably induced by a dearth of electrolytes. I could not face my first Monday morning of bodies swarming with blowflies - knew instinctively that it was a bad idea. I felt horribly guilty, and showed up on Tuesday apologizing profusely.
Although I have been sick in my three years in private practice (I have two kids - they bring home lots of bugs), I haven't once called in. This decision probably caused illnesses that might have lasted a few days with some good old fashioned R&R to drag on for a couple of weeks unchecked, but there was really no precedent that I could find making "calling in sick" acceptable. Not that I begrudge this aspect of the M.D. work ethic - it had been set up in residency and even on clinical wards as a medical student.
To be fair, a pathologist doesn't really see patients that often, and I think the crux of the article I read had to do with not exposing your patients to the bugs you yourself are suffering from. But it made me curious. The only partner I know (of my 13) who has called in sick in the last three years was in the ER with perforated appendicitis. And one of my senior partners once went to the ER with heart issues, but we all covered him for a few hours and he was back at the end of the day to finish his work.
So I wonder - how many people out there feel justified in taking sick days? Have you ever taken one? If you are a clinician, or anyone in the medical field, how do you feel about exposing your patients to your own illnesses?