Admittedly, it’s not high on anyone’s to-do list. But it seems that men have a propensity for avoiding the doctor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 33 percent more likely to go to the doctor than men. Guys, let’s represent and get those numbers up!
Why don’t men like to visit the doctor? There are lots of reasons — it makes them feel uncomfortable. They have to have painful things done to them. They don’t want to get bad news. They may not have good insurance and even a regular office visit with blood work, etc can be costly. Plus, when you work a regular job it’s nearly impossible to book a convenient appointment. For my primary care doctor, I have to book 6 months in advance to get an appointment that works for me.
Those are all valid concerns but they pale in comparison to the alternative — playing roulette with your health. And if you have a preexisting condition or a genetic disposition for certain ailments or diseases, it makes a doctor visit even more critical.
How can guys be convinced that regular doctor — and other medical visits like to the dentist or eye doctor — are important for their health? Here are some ways:
Start early. If you have young boys make sure they get into the habit of having annual exams. If your kids go to the doctor routinely and interact with a physician, they will understand that it’s not a scary thing to be feared. Instead, it’s an opportunity to ask important, personal questions of a learned medical professional who should dispense unvarnished, truthful, helpful advice.
Find a doctor in your age range. For older guys, it helps to find a doctor who’s in your age range. When I was in my late 20’s I started seeing a great doctor who was about 70. He was thoughtful and smart and took his time answering my questions. But he was of the mindset that all guys — not ones in their 40’s — should start getting prostate exams early. That really wasn’t cool for me. So, I switched doctors and found a younger man who I could more easily relate to.
A few uncomfortable moments for peace of mind. Yes, there are uncomfortable moments in that doctor’s office. We all know what they are. But isn’t peace of mind worth a few seconds of discomfort? If you do your homework and find a doctor that you can trust and has your best interests at heart, then you can relax even more.
Save up. Even if you don’t have insurance or have bad insurance, try to get to a doctor once a year. Try to siphon some money from your monthly budget to save up for the visit. If you cut back on the coffee habit or go out to eat once night less a week, you can probably save what’s needed for a annual check-up.
Your health is primary. If you enjoy your life and want to maintain your style of living, visiting a doctor is a way to take out insurance on yourself. It just makes sense and can add years to your life span.