Go ahead and hit ‘record’ in the doctor’s office

Recording clinical encounters can be good for patients and their doctors, as long as a few commonsense guidelines are followed.

The elderly woman’s right knee was bright red and twice its normal size. Her doctor explained that her prosthetic knee joint was infected and would have to be removed — antibiotics alone couldn’t cure her.

Her doctor (T.L.) began discussing treatment options, but the patient stopped him. “Do you mind if I record you?” she said, picking up her cellphone.

Surprised, the doctor leaned back in his chair.

This simple request can elicit starkly different reactions from patients and clinicians.

Many patients say they

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