Understanding Your Medical History

Important pieces of information you need to know before visiting your healthcare provider. This information helps the provider in treating the patient the most effective way possible and helps avoid any potential dangers to the patients, for instance prescribing an antibiotic that you may have ad an allergic reaction to in the past.

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to any medication, foods, or environmental agents (i.e. laundry detergent).  If you've had an allergic reaction what happened.  

If you have had an allergic reaction, what happened?


Are you currently taking any prescription or over the counter medications, including vitamins or supplements. It's important to know the correct name, dosage and frequency of the medication.

It is important to know all medications including supplements, injections, contraceptives to be able to check for and avoid any potential interactions with new prescriptions.

WCU Health Services is required to protect the privacy and confidentiality of each patient by adhering to all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) Standards. Except in life threatening emergencies, or unless required by federal, state, or local law(s), PHI (Protected Health Information) will not be released without a patient’s written consent.  Health Services does not allow patients to sign a “blanket” Release of Information form.  Authorization forms should be completed each time a patient requests new information to be released from their health record.

It is important for the clinic to obtain any past medical records in order to continue chronic medications and/or treatment of chronic conditions.

Do you currently have or have you had in the past any chronic health problems or any history of surgery?  For example, do you have a history of asthma? Do you have or have you had cancer? What type of surgery have you had?

It is important to know and inform the clinic of all known present and past medical conditions as this may alter course of treatment even for simple diagnoses that may not seem related. (For example: someone with an upper respiratory infection with a history of asthma may require different treatment and monitoring than someone without; and certain migraines can effect what type of contraceptive may be used).

What types of medical conditions exist in your family? For example, does your father have a history of high blood pressure or cardiac problems?  Does your brother have diabetes?

It is also important to know and report family medical history. There are conditions that may require earlier monitoring if they are present in family members. Knowing a thorough history may help reduce the risk of potentially developing those conditions.

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