You great-aunt Edna had red hair. Your father is six feet tall. Your uncle served in the military, and your brother is following in his footsteps. It usually is easy to track the physical or historical information about a family. But what about your family’s health history? Did your grandmother have breast cancer when she died at age 45? Has anyone in your family tree had heart disease?

It is important to know your family medical history because this information may hold the key to your future. Many physical traits, such as hair color and height, are inherited. Certain health conditions also can be passed on from one generation to the next. When several family members have heart disease, diabetes or some cancers, you may be at increased risk for that health problem as well.

This does not mean you will automatically inherit high blood pressure or ovarian cancer. But by compiling your family medical history, you can have a greater understanding of your health risks and take steps to reduce or prevent adverse health outcomes. The best way to start a family health history is to talk to relatives. Start with information about yourself and add medical background on your parents, siblings and children. Then start going back one generation at a time to include extended family members. 

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake offers a free mobile app designed to help you track your health information. The app can be downloaded from iTunes, BlackBerry AppWorld or Android Market. Search for “Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake”.

A family health history is a living document that should be reviewed and updated every couple of years. For a free, downloadable version of My Family Health Portrait developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, visit

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100


Since penicillin was introduced in the 1940s, more than 150 antibiotics have been developed. These drugs have helped save many lives by fighting bacterial infections, some fungal infections and some parasites.

Through the years, though, certain bacteria have developed the ability to resist the antibiotics that were designed to kill them. Organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis are becoming world-wide problems.

We can take steps to prevent more bacteria from developing a resistance to antibiotics. Here are some things you can do.

Know when to take antibiotics. The first step in using antibiotics safely is to know when you should take them. Antibiotics won’t work against viral infections including colds and the flu. Viruses also cause most ear infections, coughs, sore throats, acute bronchitis and stomach flu. With a viral infection, the best thing you can do is try to relieve the symptoms.

Follow directions. If your doctor does prescribe an antibiotic, make sure you understand exactly how it should be taken. Some medications work best if taken with food while others should be taken on an empty stomach. You also should take all of the antibiotics in the prescription. Don’t stop taking them when you feel better or save some for the next time you feel sick.

Prevent infections. Proper hand washing remains our best defense against both bacterial and viral infections. Other ways to prevent the spread of infections include covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, keeping food preparation areas clean, and cleaning often touched surfaces such as door knobs.

To learn more about taking medications, take the free, online over-the-counter medicines quiz on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100


Most women do not realize that a stroke can affect anyone at any age. In fact, according to the American Stroke Association, more than 100,000 U.S. women under 65 will have a stroke. Reducing even one risk may greatly lower your chances of having a stroke.

To learn more about stroke and your risk factors, attend a free stroke screening hosted by Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake on Saturday, May 5, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The screening will be held in the hospital’s West Tower/Rehabilitation Center, which is located at 9330 Poppy Drive (near Garland Road and North Buckner Boulevard). Reservations are required. Call 866-764-3627 today to make your appointment.

Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke and seeking prompt medical care can greatly improve your chances of recovery. The signs of a stroke may include the sudden onset of one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause

When someone is having a stroke, they need prompt emergency medical care. That is why it is important to go to Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, which has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval™ by The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program. As a Primary Stroke Center, the hospital follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100