The average worker has a high chance of claiming disability leave at some point in their career. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, more than 25% of today’s 20-year-old workers will miss more than a year of work due to disability before reaching the age of 65.
That is to say, while no one expects to become too sick or injured to work, it’s not exactly a long shot. And despite their profession, doctors are no exception to the wide array of medical conditions that can interrupt their ability to work for months and years at a time.
Short-term disability leave is typically caused by relatively temporary conditions that require only a few weeks or months to recover. The Council for Disability Awareness reports the following as the most common causes of short-term disability claims across all industries:
Long-term disability insurance is intended to cover serious injuries and illness that impair a worker’s ability to perform the duties of their job for extended periods of time, ranging from 6 months to many years. The average length of a long-term disability absence is 34 months- nearly three years! The Council for Disability Awareness reports the following as the most common causes for long-term disability claims across all industries:
Physicians and surgeons are often depicted as almost superhuman caregivers; we tend to think of doctors as the paragons of health, ready to give care around the clock. While it’s true that doctors are incredibly hard workers and perform life-saving feats of care, they too can suffer from disabilities that prevent them from working. In fact, the stressful nature of the medical profession can make doctors more prone to certain types of illness and injury.
Long hours, night shifts, and high-stress work environments are all too common for many physicians. These factors can not only increase the risk of accidental injury due to fatigue and sleep deprivation, but they can also increase the risk for a variety of illnesses over time. According to the EEOC, the healthcare industry has a high rate of occupational injury and illness, and healthcare workers including doctors face a variety of unique workplace hazards. These risks include exposure to airborne and infectious diseases, sharps injuries, musculoskeletal injuries caused by moving patients, and even potential violence in the workplace.
Outside the workplace, doctors are susceptible to accidents, injuries, and illnesses just like the general public. Disability insurance is especially critical for doctors in order to meet financial responsibilities such loan payments in the event that they become too sick or hurt to work. Short-term and long-term disability insurance is designed to protect doctors and their earning ability throughout their careers and can provide indispensable coverage in the event of a disability.
While impossible to predict, short-term and long-term disabilities aren’t uncommon in any profession. Doctors with disabilities deserve the same care and accommodation that they devote to their own patients, and quality disability insurance affords them the recovery time and financial security to make that possible.
Physicians Thrive can assist you in finding a policy that will give you the long term disability insurance coverage you need. See our disability resources and blog articles for more information and contact us to help you select a policy that meets your individual needs.