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People Looooooove Reading Their Doctors' Secret Notes

A new study examining the pros, cons, and practicality of physicians making their notes available online has found that 87% of patients accessed the notes when given the opportunity. I mean, duh, right? Everyone on earth is a little bit of a narcissist—so who wouldn't want to read an honest, professional assessment of one's very being?

"We had no clue that so many patients would read their notes, and that they would be both as enthusiastic and report so many clinically important changes in their behavior."

...Most patients said having access to their doctors' notes gave them more control over their care and helped them take any prescribed medications more reliably.

...Between one-quarter and one-third of patients still had privacy concerns about having the notes online, but 99 percent wanted to keep their access after the study ended.

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The secrets we uncover might not all be flattering, but sometimes the unflattering stuff, the stuff people don't want to tell us, is the most important stuff to hear. And that transparency cuts both ways—like, one time the otolaryngologist told me that I have "slender ear canals" and I'm still blushing. Plus, you can totally find out if your doctor is being a dick behind your back! It's like a public burn book, only instead of teenagers getting burned it's your internal organs and your butt, and instead of Regina George it's Dr. Yang, OBGYN! Sounds like a plan. Presuming privacy isn't being violated and doctors don't feel constrained by awkwardness, I'm on board.

Patients like reading their doctors' notes: study [Reuters]

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DISCUSSION

esmereldafoofypants02
Esmerelda Foofypants

I once requested copies of my medical records from a doctor's office, and discovered that on the notes from my initial visit, the nurse practitioner had written that I was "slender and attractive." I mean, I'm not going to complain about that assessment — but that's weird, right?