Should You Be Able to Record Your Doctor’s Appointment?

Smartphones have made many aspects of people’s lives easier and they are an absolute boon for people whose memories are not so great. More than once, I have just taken a picture of a sign or a list that I need to reference later. Faster and easier than writing things down!

You can easily install dictation apps on your phone that allow you to leave messages to yourself or record conversations. People are also taking advantage of that technology to record their doctor’s appointments.

Some doctors have expressed discomfort with this. In theory, I’m not sure why. If anything, recording a conversation provides better assurance that the patient will follow directions correctly and, thus, benefit more thoroughly from their treatment.

Under Canadian law, it is legal to record someone without their consent, though what you do with that recording can potentially violate someone’s privacy if it is put online. There can be issues of privacy if you record people in the waiting room or near the receptionist as patient names and other information might be mentioned. However,  when you are with your own doctor, only your private information is discussed.

What doctors fear is not the risk of malpractice so much as a lack of trust from their patient. That can create a negative atmosphere. Also, some physicians worry about just where that audio could end up.

On the one hand, if they are not giving out inaccurate advice, there should be nothing to worry about, right? On the other hand, you don’t really want your doctor to be reticent. In order to receive effective treatment, patients should receive a physician’s full advice and that doctor should also not feel any hesitation when it comes to answering questions.

What is your take? Have you ever recorded a doctor’s appointment? Do you think that is your right as a patient? Let me know in the comments.

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