Step 2 Keep Track of Your Medical History and Current Medications

Every time something happens related to your health — an illness, an accident, a new symptom, a new medication, blood work, x-rays, a stay in hospital etc. — add it to the list, along with the date and as much detail as you can: what happened, why did it happen, who cared for you and where, and what was the final outcome.

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How do I do it?  

  1. Choose...

Choose your medium - paper, computer, mobile device, etc.  If your list is electronic, make sure you back it up!

  1. Medical History... 

Every time something happens related to your health — an illness, an accident, a new symptom, a new medication, blood work, x-rays, a stay in hospital etc. — add it to the list, along with the date and as much detail as you can: what happened, why did it happen, who cared for you and where, and what was the final outcome.          

  1. List of Medications...

Include: the name of the medicine, the dosage and frequency copied right from the label (for example, “Medicine X - one 10mg tablet twice a day with food”.) Also list vitamins and other nonprescription (“over-the-counter” or OTC) products you take. For example, products for indigestion, pain, or eye drops you may use regularly.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY AND MEDICATIONS

Medical History 
Has a doctor ever asked you, “When was your last colonoscopy?” or “When did your symptoms start?” or any other question about your past health that you can’t answer because you didn’t write it down?

Why keep a medical history? Just as a resumé helps an employer understand your suitability for a job, a personal medical history helps a clinician understand the whole picture of you as a patient. That’s especially true when you’re seeing a healthcare provider for the first time, or when you see multiple providers.

Not only does this history help the healthcare providers, it gives you a truer picture of your own long-term health.

Medications List
Most medical practices will ask for a copy of this list when you sign on as a new patient. It’s a good idea to keep an up-to-date list handy (maybe on the refrigerator door) for emergencies.

Sample List

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"Before leaving for a business trip or vacation, I'm sure to remember to pack my medication list and contact information for the healthcare professionals I see in case I need to contact them."