It’s no secret men avoid going to the doctor with a would-rather-scrub-the-toilet-than-schedule-an-appointment kind of hate. With Movember upon us, we wanted to take a look at why.
If we can better understand what keeps two thirds of men from darkening the doorstep of their primary care physician (if they even have one), maybe we can help them take their health into their own hands.1
1. Going to the doctor isn’t convenient.
Let’s start with the most obvious reason: Convenience. Sixty-one percent of men said they’d be more likely to go for annual check-ups if it was more convenient.2 That’s because it takes time to schedule an appointment, and it takes time to carve out hours from your day to keep said appointment. And if you don’t already have a primary care physician? Then there’s research involved.
2. They think they’re healthy, so they don’t need to see a doctor.
Unless they already have a known issue, a lot of men in their 20s and 30s consider themselves healthy, and if you’re healthy, why do you need to go to the doctor? They’ve decided that they only need to schedule an appointment if something is wrong, and even then 65% tend to wait as long as possible to see a doctor if they don’t have any symptoms.2 The problem with that is that a lot of health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer start small, so by the time you feel it, it’s a much more serious problem.
3. They’d rather tough it out than see a doctor.
Even when men do start to feel sick, they’d rather fight through it than visit a doctor. A lot of this has to do with upbringing, with 41% of men being told as children that men don’t complain about health issues, according to a recent survey by the Cleveland Clinic.1 They think their condition will improve and that going to a doctor will be a waste of time and money.
4. They’re scared of what they’ll find out.
Sixty-five percent of men self-diagnose rather than going to see a doctor, and even when they do go, they aren’t always honest because they’re afraid of what they’ll find out. In fact, 37% of men would rather not know if they have a health issue.1
So what can men do to take care of their health?
This isn’t meant to scare you (or your spouse or partner) into going to the doctor. Instead, think of it this way: Taking the time once a year now can mean less time needed in the doctor’s office later. You’re healthy now, and you want to stay that way. Annual physical exams can help.
And if you aren’t sure where to start, we offer a search for comprehensive physical exams, making it easy to know the cost up front it you don’t have preventive care coverage.
It’s time to stop connecting doctor visits with something wrong and instead think about it as a way to feel better in general — now and in the future. Then we can finally make progress toward men including annual physicals as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Start now with savings on screenings, checkups and more at mdsave.com/movember.
1. Cleveland Clinic (2019). 2019 Cleveland Clinic MENtion It® Survey Results Overview. https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2019/09/2019-Cleveland-Clinic-MENtion-It-Survey-Results-Overview.pdf
2. Murphy, John. MDLinx (2019). Why do men hate going to the doctor? https://www.mdlinx.com/internal-medicine/article/4535
3. Healthline (2019). Why so many men avoid going to the doctor. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-so-many-men-avoid-doctors