Around eight years ago, I was at the local hospital, seated in a small, crowded waiting room. I had an appointment to see a member of the Surgical team and had been given a lengthy form to fill in while I waited. Among the details it demanded was a list of my medications (as if I could remember them all or pronounce them let alone know how to spell them) and a list of surgeries (like I’m going to remember when, what, where and who performed the procedure — not a hope!).

I let out a theatrical sigh whereupon the lovely woman sitting next to me patted me on the arm and said, “They’re horrid forms, aren’t they dear.” Yes they certainly are and, I told myself with grumpy irrationality, apparently devised by some miserable pillock in Admin to increase the anxiety I’m already feeling when I arrived half an hour early for the appointment.

Then this dear lady pulled from a capacious bag two closely-typed pages which she called her husband’s MediSheet. He’d had a great many surgeries, procedures, tests and treatments over the years, she explained, and she couldn’t possibly remember them all so she’d taken to writing them down and bringing her lists with them to appointments.

But now they have the computer (a quick digression followed about her son in IT), she has it all neatly typed up and saved in a Word file which is so much easier to update and print off when needed.

What a genius idea! Simple, sensible and so useful! I decided there and then that I would type up my own MediSheet that evening.

My first MediSheet was just a list of current medications and surgical history. Since then it has undergone several revisions and become as essential as carrying my ID.

I have a heart condition that has occasioned several sudden trips to the Emergency Department. Paramedics and Emergency staff ask questions that I have enormous difficulty answering at the time because of reduced blood flow to the brain. One of them is: do I have any allergies? Now the problem is that either I don’t remember that I do have an allergy or I remember I have one but can’t recall what it is I’m allergic to.

The MediSheet clearly had to have that information on it!

What’s more, because I never know when I might have an episode, I need to carry a MediSheet with me at all times (it’s folded twice and lives in the centre pocket of my handbag). If I had an accident, fainted or had a cardio episode, a quick rummage in my handbag would find my MediSheet.

I also keep a copy on or near the dining table (where I sit while waiting for the ambulance) so the last thing I do before I dial emergency is to place that copy on the table for the paramedics when they arrive. I tell them this copy is for them and they can take it with them – this means they don’t have to ask me too many questions or write the information down.

Now you may feel that you’re very healthy (I fondly remember that feeling — I was fit and healthy for several decades before 2013) but there’s a coronavirus on the loose that doesn’t care how healthy you are, and accidents are infamous for being sudden and unexpected. So healthy or not, think of your MediSheet as another ordnance in the armoury of being prepared for the unforeseen.

So what information appears on a MediSheet? Essentially you will decide this for yourself but to give you a place to start, here’s what my MediSheet looks like.

It’s divided into 5 sections which so far I’ve managed to keep all on one page. That’s important because Emergency staff really don’t have the luxury of time to read an essay.

Section 1 is personal information first: your name and date of birth. Also on that line, I have my Hospital Patient Reference Number but if you don’t have one of these, you might want to use that spot for insurance company information.

Your GP and their information appear on the second and third lines. Our hospitals like to have this information so they can send a copy of your Discharge Report direct to your GP.

Section 2 lists your medications if you take any, followed by any allergies you may have,  your blood type if you know it and perhaps the most essential of all: your recent vaccination history.

Section 3 lists any specific conditions you have and the name of your specialists.

Section 4 lists surgeries, procedures and treatments. This section can also include the most recent tests you’ve had such as MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans. Personally, I’d need a whole ‘nother sheet to list all my tests and procedures so I just refer them to my specialists.

Section 5 lists your emergency contacts. These are usually next of kin but can also be your significant other or friends.

Altogether, it looks like this:

While working on your own MediSheet, keep in mind that it may find itself being read by busy Emergency staff. Therefore…
• it should never be more than 2 pages
• use headings and spacing to make it as easy as possible for them to quickly find the section and information they need.
It makes their life and yours much easier — plus you have the added bonus of going straight onto their subconscious “favourite patients” list!


Help keep the site running, consider supporting.


  1. I keep all that info. in the Emergency section of my iPhone. It also contains a section about what to do (as in not) taking “heroic” measures if in the judgement of medical professionals I will be bedridden (or worse) even if I were to survive a medical emergency and that a written directive is on file at my local VA. Supposedly, First Responders and ER people know how to access this screen on iPhones.

    I’ve considered the possibility that not all of them will and have wanted to print up something like you have shown both to carry on me and a copy I can set out in my apartment where it will be seen when first responders enter. Alas, I don’t have a working printer and the one in the second floor community room of my apt. building has been on the fritz since before Covid. But I check now and then because at my age, and with my conditions (we seem to have some of the same ones but I’ve got a couple more) and medications if I need emergency care they need to know that shit and in a hurry. It would also be nice to, should I see a “civilian” provider (I’ve sometimes accepted appts. made by the VA on my behalf) instead of having to copy down a bunch of shit from my phone it would be so much easier to write “see attached sheet” for the type of questions on those forms they always want you to fill out on your first visit. Plus, my penmanship sucks. A nice printed statement would be far easier for them!

    I’d recommend everyone follow Michelle’s advice. As she notes, if nothing else your providers will love it and if they’re happy you’re more likely to be as well. Or as happy as one can be if in the ER or ultimately the hospital.

    • Are you on Twitter? If so, ask one of your friendly followers if they’d be able to print out your MediSheet for you and post you copies. In fact, I will happily do it if you send me a copy and your postal address to my email: [email protected]

    • It’s a really good idea. While working on this article, I updated my MediSheet with my current medications.
      ? ? ? ✨ ? ? ? Happy New Year, PJ! ? ? ? ✨ ? ? ?

  2. I have two typewritten sheets with every thing a new doctor or other medical person needs to know about my health. I have carried this in my purse for about twenty years, updating it as necessary. I have had people say that they wish all their patients would do that.

  3. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, starting with a med list. I always took them their own copy, with one notation at the top: Current as of _____ , with the date it was last updated, which was usually that day if it was a regular appointment. It is an excellent idea and as Miranda said, I always got comments from health personnel that they wish everyone would do it. It’s always good to spread the word about things like this (((((Michelle))))))


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The maximum upload file size: 128 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here