I'm about to start my first job, and I know I'll have to start a medical treatment that requires weekly visits at first. I don't know yet when I'll start, how long "at first" means or if I can work on the days in which I'll make the visit, so let's assume the worst case scenario: weekly sick days during a couple of months, starting 1-2 months after I take the job.

How risky is that and what can I do to handle it in the best way possible? I'm very worried.

To top it off I may also have to leave work 2-3 hours early once a month due to a different medical thing.

It's my first job so... I've no idea what the reaction can be, how much is "acceptable" even though it's all obviously justified, or how to handle it.

  • 4
    why why this not mentioned in the interviews for the position. This is a pretty big issue.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 27, 2016 at 21:15
  • @JoeStrazzere I was told by a friend just now that that's how the treatment works. I didn't know before. And the doctor hasn't told me anything yet, so I still don't know if I could get them over the weekend, I hope so. I think I'm gonna tell my boss as soon as the doc tells me, which is as soon as I find out as far as he knows, and that's when I will have more details.
    – markus
    Feb 27, 2016 at 23:55
  • @JoeStrazzere I'm not sure how to put it. I've known about my condition for a while now but didn't know how my treatment worked. I've a doctor appointment in over a month (which may end up being even more because I've to move and therefore transfer to another hospital for this job), and in that appointment they were going to introduce me to that treatment. The reason I found out about the weekly visits now is because someone told me that's how it worked for him, but that was a few years ago. Its likely that it'll be a visit every week but it's speculation, so maybe I should tell my boss later.
    – markus
    Feb 28, 2016 at 0:12
  • 1
    In which country are you working? I'm pretty sure in most of the world your employer cannot fire you for taking sick days off for a serious medical treatment (up to like 60-90 days a year, but given that a year has only 50 or so weeks you could take one day every week and be fine); that would be a serious breach of an employees right.
    – Bakuriu
    Feb 28, 2016 at 22:04
  • 1
    @markus So long story short, you don't actually know anything. There isn't a question that can be answered here until you know for a fact that this is how it will impact your work. Figure out how your treatment will affect you and your ability to work, then figure out how to raise it with your boss. While your question can be answered here, as long as you specify a location, the answers won't be useful to you. (Voted to close as unclear since no country is specified, which affects how sick days work and what is typically acceptable.)
    – Lilienthal
    Feb 28, 2016 at 22:39

2 Answers 2


I think we all heard negative stories around health issues. Reality is, that the companies I worked with in the past 18 years were positive, understanding an supportive.

Healthy companies hire people for the long term. They are looking for young talent who will go and grow with them. Health issues are hopefully temporary and will go away.

I agree with you that this may be a disadvantage in the first period, because it'll be hard to compare your performance to your peer group. You'll be somehow an exception. It does not sound fair, and I'm not saying it's right. My experience tells me that chances are high that someone else gets the first promotion.

The most important thing for you right now is to communicate openly. Tell your boss on your first working day that some health issues have come up and you are working with your doctor to understand what treatment is needed. Don't tell her/him anything that has not been decided yet by your doctor. Tell your boss when you expect to know more.

I think your progress at work is not a profitability question. It's not newbies who create or destroy corporate profits (usually). Your cultural fit, attitude and added value will be checked in the first period.

Added value is not necessarily related to the amount of time you spend at work. Good ideas that improve service, products and the way you work are equally important.

Hope your boss will be nice enough to keep you relaxed, it will help you to recover quickly.

If your boss tells you that you are not profitable enough or your health issues are not accepted would be an alarming red light. Keep in mind that you are also assessing cultural fit and attitude in the first period. You cannot control the attitude of your employer, you have to choose wisely.

If they have the wrong attitude it's better to move on.


Best thing is to just be honest with your manager and say you need the time off. If you're on methadone or similar treatment then don't go into details.

Nobody will think you're lying to get free holiday time.

Just talk to your manager.

  • 1
    Nah there's nothing "weird" about the treatments fortunately. No one will think I'm laying as you said, what worries me is getting laid off anyway due to being less profitable, specially if I start the treatment before they're very invested in me (if it helps with context, it's skilled labor).
    – markus
    Feb 27, 2016 at 20:35
  • Medical issues happen. They will understand. Or they won't, but there's no sense in worrying about it.
    – keshlam
    Feb 27, 2016 at 21:14

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