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Recording Doctor-patient Consultations

Is it a good idea to record your medical consultations?; The unsung polio heroes working tirelessly in India; How well do you and your doctor understand health statistics?

With advances in digital technology, some patients are starting to record their medical consultations, despite opposition from many doctors. Often this is done covertly. In the UK and in some states in the US it is legal for patients to do so, but in many places the law is unclear and it is generally a very controversial area of medical practice. Glyn Elwyn, professor and senior scientist at Dartmouth College in the US, studies the doctor-patient relationship and will be discussing this issue at the 2014 Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice in Hanover, USA. He explains the key issues at stake.

Polio Aunties
In 2006 India still accounted for half of all global cases of polio, but earlier this year it recorded three years without a new reported case. This achievement allowed the World Health Organization to finally declare its entire South East Asia region polio-free. This success is partly down to an army of women who, one step at a time, have criss-crossed the country on foot to give the under-fives polio vaccines. BBC Monitoring's Vikas Pandey went to the northern Indian city of Allahabad to meet some of the ‘polio aunties’, as they are affectionately known.

Medical Risk
Imagine that your doctor has just told you a test you have had is positive. What is the risk that you actually have that disease? Most tests are not 100% accurate, but how well do we understand health statistics? In a new book called Risk Savvy, Dr Gerd Gigerenzer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, says that many doctors do not even understand risk properly, but could easily do so with simple training.

(Photo: GP Consultation. BBC copyright)

Available now

29 minutes


  • Keeping better medical records

    How patients are starting to record their doctor consultations

    Duration: 11:04

  • Polio Aunties in India

    The unsung heroes preventing spread of the disease

    Duration: 05:40

  • Medical risk

    Do we really understand health statistics?

    Duration: 09:44