Faking The Note From The Doctor

It seemed legit – a note on letterhead from a dentist explaining a student’s absence as a result of a tooth extraction. Just one problem, the student’s face showed no signs of major dental work. A puffy cheek and a little drool would have done the trick, but that was not the case. Normally, I’d have let it go, but the student in question was chewing gum when they handed me the note.

I considered asking the student to open her mouth so I could get a peek at her stitches, but I didn’t want to single her out, especially given the assumed stress of her recent oral surgery. To be fair to the student, I’d have to ask the entire class to open their mouths and since I don’t teach chorus, my options were limited.

Instead, I returned to my office and called the dentist. Sure enough, the student hadn’t had dental work in over two years.  Bottom line – a forged doctor’s note is good, in fact, this particular doctor’s note was very believable. However, I strongly recommend physical evidence to seal the deal.

Therefore, I’m please to submit physical evidence (see photo below) of my recnt fall on a patch of ice. I’m hoping my students will find this evidence sufficient to substantiate my up-coming missed weeks of class!


When I’m done with the boot and the crutches, they’ll be available on Craigslist under “Medical Supplies to Supplement Student Excuses”



  • Krishe Van Der Walt

    Aside from the fact that no physical evidence was present and the student don’t think to fake a mock injury. The legal matters here are more important. This little stunt is not only unethical but VERY illegal! Even though this seems like a small offense right now, forging a doctors note is the same as forging legal documents or signatures on checks. These are the years we learn what are appropriate do’s and don’ts as adults, before entering the workforce in a professional capacity, where many confidential documents and notes are passed along. Just because it gets you out of trouble in that particular moment doesn’t make it any less of a crime. If forging a note from a medical professional is that easy, why not forge prescription drugs. I am not implying that this student needs to be arrested but explaining the consequences of this action MUST be done. The school makes a point of emphasizing that plagiarism is a crime and that there are legal and ethical issues and consequences involved. Why not forging documents/notes/signatures?

  • Tertius Raubenheimer

    Ah Professor Verne,
    I am so sorry to hear about your slip on the ice and subsequent injury – OUCH! Ironically enough I was in the library yesterday and a student and friend of yours told me about your accident.
    As to the oral surgery incident I would say the better path was taken in calling up the Doctor. Even though I think having a entire class saying “ah” would be a sight for sore eyes.

    Speedy recovery!

  • Tynnetta Jones

    Hello Prof. Verne,
    Occcchhhh, that looks very painful. I am sorry to hear about your fall, I hope that you are resting somewhat while speed grading papers(previous Blog)…lol.

    In reply to the blog of the ” Faking the Note from the Doctor”. I think too many times that some people think, ah I know how to do this and let me just get a pad from the office and keep it around for future endeavors, Not realizing that maybe just 1 day that someone might just check up on that person. And the sad thing is that this makes it bad for those of us that do have medical problems and are looked upon as to say. hummmm I wonder if she really had surgery, boy there must have been a very bright light in the operation room, because her tan is so crisp….you have to laugh. Take note everyone when you faking it, and you really shouldn’t be because I believe that we all are adults, but have the correct body parts that are injured and substantial evidence and NEVER give a note from a Doctor. you never know who is going to be checking. And not mention if you were a Doctor would you want someone to do this to you, to make you lose your practice or better yet to make you look even more simpler than you are.
    Feel Better Prof.
    Tynnetta Jones

  • Kerry

    I enjoyed reading this article. Some students will do anything to get out of class but maybe they should put a littler bit more effort into doing so. Forging a doctors note isn’t the right thing to do (isn’t it illegal?) but if you are going to do it at least make it believable! If you are missing class because you had dental work done you shouldn’t be chewing gum while handing the note to your teacher. At least try to make it seem like you did in fact have that dental work done. Also, I like how a call was placed to the doctor’s office to check in on the dental work that was done on the student. I’m sure the student wasn’t planning on this to be done either!

  • hope_adorno

    So after reading this blog i sincerely think you should have called your student out on the note! You’re a professor, in the class room you are like God, you can get away with anything!! I had major emergency surgery on my mouth at the beginning of February (right around the time of your slip…ouch!!) that included the extraction of four teeth, breaking my jaw, sawing down the bone, and getting my mouth wired shut. My professor (who will remain anonymous) had no problem with asking me to open and show him my mouth! However he could not see much since i couldn’t open my mouth. I had a scarf on though to cover the bruises (anyone who has had a surgical extraction knows about the bruising it causes) so I showed him those. He felt so bad he excused me from class!! Good thing too because I forgot my doctors note!

  • Hayley315

    You are seriously funny and down to earth as per my observation of your blogs. I agree with hope_adorno about calling them out in front of the class. It was awfully distasteful to smack on gum all while handing you a dental extraction note. The nerve ! I guess student try to find ways to manipulate situations to suit there needs and calling him/her out would’ve taught them either to try harder next time, or quit the bull.

    Oh and by now you should be better, taking that it hasn’t been icy for sometime, but sorry to hear and see of your slip and fall. A video of you trying to hop would have been a bit more believable 🙂 kidding.