The importance of keeping a personal medical health history
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
Today, more individuals are keeping personal copies of their medical history. As we've become a more mobile society, this is critical as you never know when something might occur, requiring medical attention. Having your personal medical history is especially helpful when traveling or visiting a new doctor. Having this information available when needed ensures you receive the best and most appropriate care and that you don't accidentally leave out something important in your conversations.
Having your personal medical history with you may also help your doctor identify patterns or possible causes of particular symptoms. And, it's a useful tool for your family when they need to be your advocate or in case of an emergency. If you decide to move into a senior living community, make sure staff has a copy or knows where it is.
Your personal medical history should include the following:
Name, birth date, blood type
Allergies, what happens when you are exposed to each allergen, and how you have been treated in the past
Any chronic conditions
All medications (current and past), including dosages, duration of use, reasons for taking them, and any side effects. Be sure to include over the counter medications as well.
Dates of doctor's visits and reasons for each visit
Information about major illnesses, hospital visits, and surgeries
Dates and results of tests and screenings
Relevant family history
A more thorough record may also include notes about your emotions, what may have been going on in your life at the time, eating, exercising, and sleeping habits
Be sure your personal medical history is portable, readily accessible, and secure. Let your family know how to find it or give them a copy. Get your template for a Personal Medical History form.