• The first thing I did was make a list of all of the treatments/medications I had tried that obviously didn’t work because I was still experiencing pain and other symptoms.
  • After I made this list, I put beside each one which doctor prescribed the medication/treatment and their specialty.
  • Next, I made a list of all of the surgeries I had and any procedures (CT Scans, ultrasounds, etc.) I remembered having along with the date and doctor (year, month and year; as much information as I could remember).
  • I then went to the offices of as many of my past doctors as possible and requested personal copies of my records. I know this can be time consuming and maybe even bothersome because some doctor offices would prefer to send them to your new doctor instead of giving them to you and we really don’t feel like running all over town getting them. Also, some offices require that you pay for copies of your medical records. This is all ridiculous as it’s YOUR health records, but this is our health care system. Many doctor offices and hospitals now have patient portals that allow patients to view their medical records from home and print them. Be sure to utilize this tool.
  • Once I got all of the records that I could, I scanned them to my computer and made copies of them so that I would have my own personal copies in case my new doctor wanted to keep copies. Yes, the new doctor should be able to make their own copies for your file, but it’s better to be on the safe side and make sure you will still have copies.
  • I also made a list of all questions I could think of that were relevant to what the doctor was seeing me for.
  • I saved all of this on my computer so that I could easily access it and print it when I needed it or make any changes to it.



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Samantha Bowick

Samantha Bowick


Samantha Bowick is the author of two books; founder of Chronic Illness Support, LLC; podcast host for Chronic Illness Support; patient advocate; and has an MPH.