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Can a Primary Care Doctor Write an ESA Letter?

Can a Primary Care Doctor Write an ESA Letter?

Your family doctor, also called a primary care physician (PCP), can write a letter recommending an emotional support animal. We’ll explain what legally gives them that ability and explore what better options might be available for you. 

Why are Physicians Able to Write an ESA Letter?

To turn your pet into an emotional support animal, federal law requires a recommendation letter (known as an ESA letter) from a healthcare professional who is licensed to practice in your state. 

Eligible providers include doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and counselors. An actively licensed primary care physician can certainly write an ESA letter. 

PCPs are healthcare professionals who serve as the first point of contact for patients seeking medical attention. Although they play an important role in managing overall health, they may not be the best option for an ESA letter which requires a mental health evaluation. 

Why Some Physicians Can’t Write ESA Letters

Even though primary care physicians can write ESA letters, some might hesitate. Their reluctance could stem from unfamiliarity with ESAs, uncertainty about the process of writing the letter, or workplace policies that limit their ability to do so. 

In addition, although PCPs are responsible for your general health, they may not be familiar enough with your mental health to feel comfortable writing an ESA letter. That’s why many people find it easier to find a mental health professional specializing in ESA recommendations. 

How to Get an ESA Letter if Your PCP Says No

If your PCP says no to your ESA letter request, don’t stress. It doesn’t mean you don’t deserve an emotional support animal. Physicians often can’t write ESA letters for all the reasons we talked about. 

Finding a provider who recognizes how an emotional support animal can improve your well-being is crucial. If your PCP can’t write an ESA letter, try asking for a referral. Click here if you need an easy online option.

3 Easy Steps to Get an ESA Letter Online Nurse Practitioner
Can a Primary Care Doctor Write an ESA Letter?

About the Author: The writing team at Service Dog Certifications is made up of folks who really know their stuff when it comes to disability laws and assistance animals. Many of our writers and editors have service dogs themselves and share insights from their own experiences. All of us have a passion for disability rights and animals.

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