Recording of the Medical History (Anamnesis):
At the beginning of the diagnostic process, the doctor tries to get an overview of the present complaints, their chronology, related diseases and previous therapies by a comprehensive talk with the patient or - in some cases - with relatives. If relevant, the medical history of the family, present and former professions/employments, social conditions and allergies are taken into account.
You can facilitate this by preparing notes about previous diseases and operations at home, before your appointment. A list of your previous and present medication including the dosage is also very helpful.
If there are any recent or older X-rays or CT-scans of the chest or written reports, you should have them with you, if possible. Former medical reports are also important.
Assessing the medical history can yield vital information. Diagnostic steps can only be arranged afterwards.