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July 7, 1975

Never on Wednesday

Author Affiliations

Ballwin, Mo

JAMA. 1975;233(1):33. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260010035015

ALCOHOLISM has been estimated by Dun and Bradstreet to cost industry 7.5 billion dollars annually. It has been reported by the US government that if industry can reduce absenteeism by one day annually, it will increase the gross national product by millions of dollars. Why, then, do we help our alcoholic patients hide their disease by making an entry of "depression," "gastritis," or something else on an insurance or a sick leave form? Must we always be a partner in fraudulent absenteeism by signing a statement that Mr. Jones was unable to work from date X to date Y, when in truth, we actually saw him two days after date X, and date Y is the following Monday? Don't patients occasionally recover on Wednesdays? Have we ever inquired as to whether the patient's employer can temporarily provide a less strenuous type of work or can use the man with appropriate