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Too much to lose from office visit recording or filming.

A common phrase you see on inspirational posters is "sing like nobody's listening, dance like nobody's watching."

In medicine, it should be "speak as if everyone is recording, behave as if everyone is filming."

You'd think that would be obvious. Today things are rapidly spread over Facebook and Twitter. Even if it's entirely false, that doesn't matter. It's easy for anyone with a smartphone and apps to edit the clip to make it end differently from what really happened.

Occasionally, I get a request to record what I'm saying. In most cases I decline and never allow myself to be filmed. I do this because anything can be altered, and unless I go to the effort to record it myself, I have no way to prove who's telling the truth. So it's easier just to not do it at all.

Unfortunately, this is often taken as "proof" of my trying to hide something. I'm certainly not. Being open and honest with patients is always something I focus on. But the truth of what happened in a 30- to 60-minute visit can be misconstrued in an edited, and possibly altered, sound bite.

If you find yourself losing the battle to stay in control, remember that your words and actions could be being recorded and posted in an hour, whether you permitted it or not. Because you don't want to learn the hard way.

BY ALLAN M. BLOCK, MD

Dr. Block has a solo neurology practice in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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Title Annotation:Commentary
Author:Block, Allan M.
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Date:May 1, 2019
Words:247
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