This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival Prompt:
Most medical appointments involve notes of some kind. Notes the patient brings with questions and concerns. Notes a patient makes about the doctor’s instructions. And, of course, notes our doctors make in our medical charts. It had never occurred to me to keep track of the notes being made in my chart until our August 20th chat about “Notes”. So this month, let’s explore that topic and answer the question . . . .
Do you request a copy of your medical notes? If so, how often? If not, why?
I think this is a great topic because it’s not something that I think people really think about too often. I have actually requested my medical notes in the past and I’m so glad I did. When I graduated college, I moved from my home town in Richmond, Virginia up to Arlington, Virginia. When I moved, I had to pay a TON of money to have my medical records mailed from my pediatrician/primary care doctor up to my new primary care doctor. I think I had about 200 pages worth of medical notes and since I had to pay per the page, it was pricey. I learned my lesson though because when I moved back to Richmond from Northern Virginia two years ago, I decided to ask that the medical notes be given straight to me instead of to my next doctor. At the time, I had picked a doctor out but I wasn’t sure if it was a doctor I was going to stick with so I figured it would be cheaper for me to have the records in my hands than have to keep paying to transfer them around.
Since I acquired my medical notes, I have found it incredibly helpful. I have gone through and read all my notes and I think it’s so helpful to see what the doctors said and also to refresh my memory on what happened medically in my life. One recurring note from my endocrinologist was that I needed to use my bolus wizard more. While this was an endo I saw over two years ago, if she could see me now using my bolus wizard every single time, she would be really happy.
Reading over my notes from my medical life, I feel like I learned a lot about myself that I was either too young to know or had forgotten. However, I haven’t requested to see notes since then. I do think I have been more vocal though in asking questions. Especially now that I am going to the OB (regular and high risk) twice per week, I’ve been asking a lot of questions about my care. The doctors usually respond with “everything’s fine” which irritates me but I’m sure if I asked to see the notes, I would get more information.
I think requesting my medical notes two years ago was so beneficial, but I haven’t asked for any notes since then. I think this prompt is a great reminder to ask to see the notes more often because I feel like I can learn so much from what my doctor doesn’t necessarily say. I love data and I love to learn so asking for my notes would make a perfect compliment to my learning and understanding.
This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/09/september-dsma-blog-carnival-4/