Can I create an anamnesis without doing family research?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Your medical history consists not only of conditions you have had, but also of conditions that run in your family. For this reason, doctors and medical associations around the country are beginning to stress the importance of doing family research in order to develop a complete anamnesis. When doing family research for an anamnesis, it is important to ask about a person's demographics (gender, ethnic background, age at diagnosis, etc.), the specific diseases that the person contracted, and any lifestyle choices that may have affected those diseases (like smoking). The American Medical Association has also created forms, which are accessible to the public, that cover some of the basic anamnesis questions asked of patients in some situations.

This being said, not all people can do family research. Some people have no living family members; others are not in contact with their families. If this is the case for you, you can do the best you can with published documents, like birth certificates or immunization records. If you can't find any information on your families' past medical conditions, you can always be the first person to start keeping a record of your family's medical history for your children.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.