Know your health history

Create a stronger doctor-patient relationship


Knowing and writing down your health history can help create a stronger relationship with your doctor and positively affect your care and recovery.

Dr. Kim Eagle, a director of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, urges patients to know your health history–that is, to take ownership of your medical story and document it in a concise way. This, he says, benefits both healthcare professionals and the patient.

Writing down your personal issues, past surgeries, current medications and other information relevant to your emotional and physical health helps you establish a stronger relationship with your physician, Dr. Eagle says. “The more patients commit to documenting their story and sharing information, the more they help us to be better doctors,” he says, adding that a strong doctor-patient relationship can also affect a patient’s care and recovery.

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