You're at your doctor's office for a check-up. Along with the other paperwork you have to fill out, you are given a "Medical History Form."
You are asking yourself, "What does your family's medical history or past surgery have to do with anything?"
Continue reading to understand why these questions are so important for your physician to know before they see you.
Your medical history is comprised of two parts:
Your personal medical history:
This details any health problems that you have ever had.
Family health history:
This details any health problems that your blood relatives have or had during their lifetime.
Usually, the form that your doctor provides you will ask you about:
Past or present illnesses
Past or present diseases
Past or present injuries
Prescription/over-the-counter medication you take
Lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, drug, and alcohol use
Your family medical history refers to the past or present health information of your close family members. Family medical histories should include parents, siblings, children, and grandparents, and it may include other family members.
Although you may not think it's important, giving your doctor an accurate medical history can give them a better understanding of your health. From there, they can identify patterns and make more effective decisions based on your specific health needs.
With your family medical history, your doctor can identify diseases or health problems that run in your family. From there, they can assess your personal risk and help prevent the onset of certain diseases or health conditions.
Your doctor will use your medical history to help establish a thorough personal plan for you to stay healthy and lower your risk of certain diseases.
In the case of an emergency, medical history can be easily shared with the right people to save time and determine what medications they can and can't prescribe.
On top of that, your medical history can guide you to ask the right questions and be an informed and proactive patient.
Here are some takeaways on this from a public health point of view.
As always, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is key.