Why Doctors Have a “God Complex”

birth (27)

Long has the stereotype of the arrogant, self righteous doctor permeated society.  Some doctors have even been accused of having a ‘god complex’.

Is it because they constantly balance life and death? Does shocking heart rhythms back in sync, bringing new life into this world and cracking skulls to remove deadly brain tumors cause their own craniums to arrogantly expand?

Some might suggest such obvious reasons, but I think the true source of their supernatural pride comes from a more mundane source: the power of their pen.

I postulate that it is the power of the the almighty ‘doctor’s note’ that can lead to the ‘God complex’. At exactly what point in history did the doctor’s note achieve such a powerful status? I have no clue, but over the years I have been requested to attach my magical signature to some very interesting requests.

Change the law

Husbands racing to the hospitals with their pregnant wives will often request notes to get out of speeding tickets they got on the way. I’m unsure why my signature is necessary to prove the large screaming pregnant woman in the seat beside them is in labor. Evidently my unintelligible squiggle is sometimes more convincing than common sense.

Very commonly I get a requested to write for handicap parking stickers for my pregnant patients. But sorry ladies, pregnancy is not a disability.


From school to jury duty, I have been asked to write notes to excuse people from nearly every responsibility in life. No, I will not write you off school/work for:

  • Yeast infection (neither will I give you Percocet–but that’s an entirely different post)
  • Pregnancy (sorry, miserable pregnancy alone isn’t enough, you must have a complication)
  • You got your period (women have been going to work on their period for years)


Some of the oddest requests for doctors notes have concerned sex. I have been asked to write a note saying that a pregnant woman was OK to have sex. Evidently her husband was afraid to hurt the baby and wanted an ‘official’ doctor approval.  On the other end of the spectrum, several women whose libido was negatively effected by pregnancy have asked me to write them ‘off sex.’

I’ve also been asked to write note to get husband off work while his wife was ovulating so that they might procreate.

Change of religion

My all time strangest request involved Beef. A pregnant woman requested I write note to her priest saying that it was OK for her to eat meat. Her religion normally did not allow her to eat meat, but since she was pregnant and had anemia, her priest said he would approve it if she had a note from me.

I never determined her exact faith, but with the stroke of my pen I essentially changed her religion.

And that, my friends, that is why doctors can easily have “God Complex.”

All kidding aside, it’s truly amazing the crazy things I’ve been asked to put in a doctors note. Luckily, I have many people in my life to keep my pride in check.

What would YOU like a doctors note to get out of?

About Dr. Heather Rupe

Dr. Rupe is a mom, wife and OB/GYN. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion book and blogs at www.ThePregnancyCompanion.com. Her heart is to help guide women through as peaceful a pregnancy as possible. In her spare time she loves to run and laugh whenever she can.


  1. I asked my OB to write a letter in support of my husband’s immigration case. Due to a high-risk condition I had to come back for prenatal care/delivery while my husband had to watch via skype from abroad. Once baby and I left the US to be back with my hubby, she wrote a fantastic letter and offered her help any way she could. I am sure the power of her pen helped in getting his green card a couple months later. :)

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