Study Shows Impact of long COVID on Physicians

A recent study by the British Medical Association (BMA) looked at physicians with long COVID and found that nearly one in five were no longer able to work, and fewer than one in three was working full-time. Further, nearly half of the responding physicians said they had lost income as a result of long COVID.[1]

The British doctors reported their symptoms included fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, nerve damage, joint pain, and ongoing respiratory pain, with a majority (54%) acquiring COVID during the first wave of the pandemic. Of these, 77% believed they had contracted the disease while at work.[2]

Similar employment trends for those with long COVID have been seen in the United States. In a study published by the JAMA Network Open, of 15,308 adults surveyed between February 2021 and March 2022 with test-confirmed COVID-19, those with long COVID (also called post-COVID-19 condition, or PCC) were less likely to be employed full-time and more likely to be unemployed. Of those reporting long-COVID, 45.9% reported either brain fog or impaired memory. [3]

A recent New York Times article reported that, according to one study published by New York’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, 71% of people classified as experiencing long COVID either required ongoing medical treatment or were unable to work for six months or longer. Eighteen percent of long COVID patients had not returned to work more than a year after contracting COVID (and more than three fourths of these individuals were under the age of 60).[4]

For physicians, dentists, and other professionals suffering from long COVID, the impact on their career and livelihood can be significant, and they may need to file a disability insurance claim. These types of claims have unique challenges and are often contested by insurance companies. As we’ve written about before, long COVID claims need the support of treating physician(s) and strong medical records —especially given that there is no one definitive, objective test for long COVID, and the duration of long COVID can vary greatly.

If you’ve been diagnosed with long COVID and feel you may need to file a disability insurance claim, please feel free to reach out to one of our attorneys directly.

[1] Adele Waters, Long covid: nearly half of doctors affected can no longer work full time, finds survey, BMJ 2023;382:p1529.

[2] Id.

[3] Roy H. Peerlis, MD, MSc, et. al, Association of Post-COVID-19 Condition Symptoms and Employment Status, JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(2):e2256152.

[4] Pam Belluck, Long Covid Is Keeping Significant Numbers of People Out of Work, Study Finds, The New York Times (Jan. 24, 2003).


Search Our Site