Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Doctors on the record

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 13 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2098
  1. Trevor Jackson, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tjackson{at}

How would you feel if a patient came into your consulting room, switched on a smartphone, and said they intended to record the encounter? If you are anything like the family doctor in Glyn Elwyn’s Observations column (doi:10.1136/bmj.g2078), you might well be taken aback and ask the patient to put the phone away. In Elwyn’s tale, which is based on posts from a real online discussion thread that began several years ago, that is far from the end of the story. The patient posts her version of events on the forum, sparking strident reactions from other doctors. “Patients are taking her side,” writes Elwyn. “It looks ugly.”

In the patient’s account “the doctor raised his voice and berated …

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