Have you built a personal medical journal yet? While it is a crucial component of tracking and sharing one’s health, it is often pushed to the side or never even mentioned. However, it is highly recommended among the medical community. Today, we share why it is essential to have a medical journal and what you should include.
Why Build a Personal Medical Journal?
A personal medical journal serves multiple purposes. First, if you get a new doctor, you can easily share and review your gathered information with them to provide an in-depth look at your current health. Second, if you cannot share your medical condition with a physician (like after an accident), your family can hand it over easily. Lastly, as we pass down our genetics to our children, we can also provide them with a medical history that they may need in the future.
Building a Personal Medical Journal
#1: Family Medical History
The first step to building a personal medical journal is to note your family’s medical history. Genetics will play a significant in your future, so gathering information about your family’s medical conditions, both past and present, will allow you to track patterns. Those patterns may key you in on warning signs that you can or will develop something similar.
We recommend seeking the medical history of both parents, all grandparents, aunts, uncles, and your siblings. We understand that you may not have access to this information due to limited contact with relatives or that they are no longer alive. If that is the case, we suggest asking other family members to see what they remember.
#2: Past & Current Medical Conditions
The second item to include in your personal medical journal is your past and current medical conditions. We recommend writing about any ailment, from disease to allergies to broken bones, that has happened since you were a baby. If possible, double-check with your parents to see if any medical conditions occurred while you were too young to remember.
This information is helpful to physicians who are new to you and your needs. By understanding what your body has undergone during your lifetime, they can make better recommendations and diagnoses for future concerns.
#3: Past Medical Treatments
Have you had surgery or medical treatment of some variety? We recommend writing a comprehensive list of every medical treatment you have received. You should include the treatment date, the treatment procedure, why it was necessary, if the problem was resolved, and if there are any ongoing issues.
#4: Shot Records
Immunizations may seem like a small part of your medical portfolio, but they are critical to track to prevent missing or double-taking a specific shot. We recommend keeping an update-to-date record of your immunizations, including their medical name, purpose, date received, and any boosters.
If you received the COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to include this in your records as well as the company that released the vaccine.
#5: Medication Lists
Before a doctor prescribes any medications or treatments, they will need a detailed list of your current medications. Some medicines react poorly with others, so your doctor needs to have this information to prevent any problems.
Your medication list should include any oral, injectable, or insertable medications that you take, both prescribed and over the counter. Make sure to include vitamins, supplements, birth control, and anything else that goes beyond food. Even if you may think it is embarrassing to share such information, your doctor is always the one you should tell.