How to write medical referral letters

Written by aubrey kerr
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How to write medical referral letters
Medical referral letters are sent from one doctor to another (relaxed doctor image by Keith Frith from

A medical referral letter is sent from one physician to another when referring a patient for care. Most often the letter is sent from the patient's general practitioner or primary care physician to a specialist with a request for diagnosis or treatment of a patient. Writing a medical referral letter is up to each individual doctor, although some medical groups have templates to be followed.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check to see if your hospital or medical group has a template or prompt sheet for medical referral letters. If so, fill in the template with the applicable patient information and medical history.

  2. 2

    Open a text document to begin your letter. Format the letter using a standard business letter template in your word processing program. If you don't have a template simply format it as a business letter. Include the date, your address, the address of the doctor you're sending it to, then the body of the letter and your signature.

  3. 3

    Include the patient's personal information and the referring doctor's contact information in the letter. Also include the reason for the referral. A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia reported that specialists prefer referral letters to include a patient's medical history, any clinical findings, prior test results and any previous treatments.

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