Inquiry means investigating into the occurrence, development and treatment of the disease as well as the present manifestations and other related problems by means of inquiring the patient or other people accompanying the patient.
The occurrence, development and treatment of the disease as well as the present manifestations are important evidences for diagnosis. Such information can only be obtained by inquiry. So inquiry is the main method used to understand the medical history and subjective symptoms of the patient.
In doing inquiry, the doctor should comprehen-sively and purposefully ask the chief complaint and the related aspects. It is forbidden to suggest and induce the patient in doing inquiry. The doctor should use simple language to talk with the patient, avoiding using medical terms.,
Inquiry includes general information, chief complaint, present disease history, present symptoms, past medical history and family history.
General information includes name, sex, age, marital status, nationality, profession, one's place of origin, present address and date of first visit.
The information mentioned above is helpful for doctors to get necessary data related to the disease and provides evidences for the diagnosis and treatment. For example, woman tends to have problems related to menstruation, leukorrhagia, pregnancy, delivery and child-feeding; man tends to have problems of seminal emission, spontaneous spermatorrhea, immature ejaculation and impotence; infants are delicate in viscera and tend to contract measles, variella and diphtheria; young people and people in the prime of life are superabundant in qi and blood and tend to develop sthenia syndrome; the aged are deficient in qi and blood and tend to have asthenia syndrome because their viscera are weak; the middle-aged and aged are easy to have cancer, chest oppression and wind stroke; those who are engaged in a certain kind of work for a long time tend to have profession disease; and in some specific areas certain kinds of endema and epidemic diseases are commonly encountered.
Besides, the information mentioned above is also important for writing medical record, recording and surveying the procedure of diagnosis and treatment as well as keeping contact with the patients and their relatives.