Do you have a right to your childhood medical records?

I know for a fact my parents took me to child psychologists or psychiatrists because I was non-verbal until a certain age, I can remember it. My mom insists they diagnosed me as too hyper to form words in my brain :dubious: and otherwise “nothing was wrong with you at all, you’re fine!”.

Needless to say I distrust my mom’s version of events for good reasons, and she claims she cannot remember the name of the doctor or where the offices were located.

All I know as far as location was the city, if I could somehow find out the specific doctor or hospital do I have any right to request a copy of my medical files? Just to see exactly what I was or was not diagnosed with? This would have been in the late 1980s.

Files? Most if not all. General diagnosis and proposed/completed treatment and that sort of thing is easy. Anything you would consider a “chart”, you can get. Getting access to notebooks, tapes and things like that usually needs some sort of court order

You have a right to request it, but the doctor had no obligation to preserve the records for 30 years, so they may not exist. I can’t find any state that requires a doctor to preserve records of a minor for more than age-of-majority plus 3.

Yes, if the records still exist, you now hold the privilege and can access them.

While some hospitals may hold records longer, most private practitioners will have destroyed the files at the number of years after treatment at which this is allowed. This is in order to remove obsolete records and for storage space. Some facilities might archive paper records. It’s likely, though, that 30 years later they will have been destroyed.

If those records might have been requested by some other treatment provider later, there’s a shot that they’re duplicated in the newer record.

Yes you have a right to them but the question is can you get them for free? I tried to get my childhood dental records and they wanted to charge me $130 for them. In fact I am wondering if that is legal.

If, by chance, any of the visits were in coordination with referrals from the school then you might find some information reflected in your school records. I had cause to request copies of such from the school system 30+ years after certain testing and they pulled the records with no problem. had what I wanted. YMMV

In my state, they can charge “reasonable” copying and handling fees. I’d be surprised if $130 was deemed reasonable unless they were archived 100 miles away and someone had to drive over to a locked storage locker to get them.

But it would cost you more than $130 in court fees to sue them over it, so whatchagonnado?

OP, yeah, check with your old school. It will be much easier since you know their name, and (at least in my state) schools have to keep records for 50 years.

Sara, that’s pretty cheap. Yes, it’s legal. It could legally be more.

I know they can charge fees for copying and service fees too. You can check with ADA to see if there are guidelines. As mentioned above it’s not an outrageous sum, and it could cost you more to fight it.

I’m sure it varies by state. In Texas IIRC it is $25 for first 20 pages and then $0.15 per page. Full mouth series of x-rays, panoramic or cheph x-ray $15. Individual intaoral x-rays are $5.