Number of patients recording doctor's visits on the rise

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The number of patients recording doctors is on the rise, with patients often sharing the recording with family members or caregivers to help with their care. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The number of patients recording doctors is on the rise, with patients often sharing the recording with family members or caregivers to help with their care. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some doctors worry that recordings could undermine the trust between them and their patients, especially if they're done secretly. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some doctors worry that recordings could undermine the trust between them and their patients, especially if they're done secretly. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Medical experts suggest asking your doctor if you can record your conversation instead of doing it secretly. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Medical experts suggest asking your doctor if you can record your conversation instead of doing it secretly. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Phoenix mom Rita Chart is like a lot of patients who don't always remember everything their doctor says.

Sometimes she'll take notes, or have a family member come with her to the doctor's office.

Chart would also consider recording the visit on her cell phone.

"I think it would give me a chance to go back and later understand better what he wants me to do," said Chart.

A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that the number of patients recording doctors is on the rise, with patients often sharing the recording with family members or caregivers to help with their care.

[RELATED: Patients need to bring medical records to physician visits]

However, some doctors worry that recordings could undermine the trust between them and their patients, especially if they're done secretly.

There are also concerns that the recordings could possibly be used in malpractice suits.

Family physician Dr. Paul Coulombe said they take a lot of time writing down the diagnosis and medical instructions for patients and are always available by phone.

He doesn't think patient-doctor recordings are really necessary, especially if they're done in secret, which is legal in Arizona. 

"It's not that I would say anything different, it's just that it implies there's some kind of lack of trustworthiness there," said Coulombe. "Why is it being secretly recorded? If they just say they want to record something, which has happened before, I won't have an issue with that."

A number of hospitals and medical groups like the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix are now encouraging patient-doctor recordings and rewarding physicians who comply.

Medical experts suggest asking your doctor if you can record your conversation instead of doing it secretly.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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