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    • Thread Starter

    * Students*
    Like, sometimes, I forget what the patient's told me like 5 minutes ago because I'm too busy thinking off a question to ask them next ;-;. Do I just have a bad memory?! If so, what do I do?

    This happens to most people when they are first learning to take a history. As you get more practice, the questions will come naturally and you will be able to spend more time concentrating on what the person is saying and think about potential diagnoses etc.

    I would recommend making a note of the outline of your history (presenting complaint, history of presenting complaint etc) with further notes beneath each heading to remind you of the important things that you need to ask. That way, if you do get stuck you can just quickly glance down at your piece of paper. There are some great resources online as well:


    It can also sometimes help to have someone else with you when you take the history who can give you feedback. That way, you'll know what you need to improve on and what you did well (something that we often forget).

    Like I said, this all comes with practice and is nothing to worry about.
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    This is normal. Especially if you're on take and its the 12th patient you've seen, of whom 8 have had central chest pain.

    That is why i write notes as i go. Nothing wrong with that.

    I remember starting off worrying not knowing what to ask rather than remembering what has been said.
    As what has been said above, it comes with practice after you've taken loads of histories regardless of patients. You will automatically develop your own sequence in asking questions and it will come naturally with time.

    Always take a pen and paper with you to write down the important outline you want to cover based on their presentation so you wont miss out halfway through and gives you time to think of other questions if youre stuck.

    Completely normal lol. I always forget the patients name and/or age so always say "this lady in her early 70s has presented with..."

    Works well and sounds better than asking for their name again
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