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Tracking Your Own Medical History and Self-Accountability





peaceninja
What sort of responsibility do you put on yourself to keep track of your medical history? The context of this question is that I went to a doctor for a physical (first time I went to one in many many years) and even though he was helpful for the most part, he made it sound like the normal person is not concerned about doing routine physicals whereas in my work environment (where we have a good health plan) it seems normal. I know I have a tetanus shot due in a year or two, but I have to spend a little time finding out when I need to do it next.

I would like to have one central place to go to that I can log my own history and keep of course a backup on file, because currently I am rushing to my backup on file to find stuff like this out.

Also I would like this central place to also tell me what sort of things should be routine, such as a physical, flu shot, glaucoma screenings, breast exams (well I don't have boobies but you get the idea of what I mean by routine).

Is this the job of the doctor you go to? Apparently not because I asked my doctor's office and they kept relaying my call to someone who knew until the last person I reached casually said "yah yah sure fax me everything." This sort of response does not really put a lot of confidence in someone else to track my history and keep track of what I need to do next as routine.

Makes sense? I mean I know more about my car and the tune ups it needs at the shop than for my own health and body? Other thoughts? Who keeps track of your records or maybe you use an app or a site?
benjmd
I personally don't keep track enough of my own health record, but I don't have much of one and don't require much of the regular maintenance work at my age other than check-ups.

It is the responsibility of your doctor to seek out information regarding your health maintenance, but he/she can only do so much. If you had a different doctor previously you need to get those records transferred to your new doctor or you need to be able to tell your doctor when your last tetanus immunization was and so forth. Tetanus immunizations are recommended every ten years, so if you've had the same primary doctor for more than 10 years, that office should have the records of your health maintenance history. But then, you have to be going for check-ups to get any of that taken care of.
jobu
Ya I gotta agree with Ben on that one. If the doctor is not keeping track of it and telling you when he wants to see you again then maybe you should tell him thats what you want. If he falls short find a new one. I personally never found a doctor that didnt want to see me again. I am the one that blows them off.

My take on it is that I pay enough attention to myself to know when I am feeling a bit whacky. I don't save records because I move state to state alot. When I feel concerned or down I get checked. I go by the rule GIGO which I learned from my grandfather at a young age. It means Garbage In, Garbage Out. In other words, what you put in for foods and drink you will get back out of you body. If you put junk in, then expect your life and energy to be junk. Pretty simple wise words. GIGO


As a general rule you should have a full exam and full blood workup once per year, and some docs will say 2x.

Some insurance companies also have a department and guides as to when you should get certain things done. Its in thier best interest to keep you preventatively healthy in hopes that you will die in a sudden way rather than years in the hospital fighting for you life. Give them a ring and see what they have to say. Good luck
Qualla
After many years in medicine I can say that if you want a good record of your health care you should start a file and do that record keeping yourself. A doctors office can help, but they will only be in business so long and at the end of that practice those records can become difficult in not impossible to access. An for a good idea of what you may want to do on a routine basis, physical exams, lab work, adult immunizations, WEBMD.com is a good starting place.
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