If you’re searching for old medical records from your childhood, it’s important to know how to go about finding them. The process varies by state and may require you to fill out a form and submit copies of identification.
Generally, patient records are sent to a state-certified warehouse company and stored there after doctors retire or close their practices. You can get a copy of these records by contacting your local health department.
Ask Your Parents
One of the best ways to find old medical records from childhood is to ask your parents. It’s a great way to get them talking and to learn more about their lives and family history.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Christiana Awosan, PhD says that asking questions can help you realize your parents are full people with their own problems and stresses and victories. That can make your relationship with them more meaningful, she adds.
A lot of times, children are so wrapped up in their own personal issues that they forget about their parents’ lives outside the realm of their parenthood, she adds.
Your parents may feel a little embarrassed about their pasts, but asking them for information can help you to understand their lives in a more holistic way. It can also help you accept them despite their flaws, she says. So, the next time you’re feeling the urge to ask your parents for help with something, try these questions instead!
Call Your Doctor’s Office
Your doctor’s office can often help you find your old medical records. Most doctor’s offices will have a form you can fill out to request your medical records. They can mail them to you or fax them over.
You should also give them plenty of notice. State laws require health care providers to provide your medical records within 30 days of your request.
When you get a copy of your medical record, it is important to review them carefully and make sure they are complete. Any inaccurate information or omissions will impact your future treatment.
Typically, the law allows qualified persons (such as parents and guardians) to access medical records. Attorneys and patient advocates are also authorized to request records.
Depending on your location, there may be an old school family physician in your hood. In a pinch, you can even get the medical gizmo of your dreams via telehealth. The aforementioned gizmo is a little more esoteric than the standard oleo doc. You may have to pay a premium, but it’s well worth the price tag in my book. The aforementioned gizmo will prove to be a bona fide winner for many years to come.