For many men, going to the doctor is not a priority and is often a hassle in the general scheme of things. This attitude of neglect to their health has resulted in more men dying earlier than women from some of the leading causes of death. Men also spend more time and money on secondary illnesses versus preventive health problems. Many studies have been done and reasons have been given about why men hate going to the doctor.
Reasons Why Men Avoid Going to the Doctor
When it comes to their health, men are often their worst enemies. Even with health insurance and having a relationship with a primary care doctor, men avoid the doctor unless their health problems get worse. Based on a study of 1,100 men, more than 50% of them were reluctant to go to the doctor for one reason or another. Many men believe that the less they know about their health status, the better they are able to cope. According to askmen.com, the top five reasons given for why men don’t go to the doctor are as follows:
1. Finding the time to go to the doctor because of busy schedules,
2. Lacking encouragement from others as well as giving into nagging from partners and significant others,
3. Ignoring warning signs because of having a “macho” or tough attitude about getting medical treatment,
4. Feeling healthy or fine and therefore sees no rationale for a health check-up,
5. Having no real reason or there is nothing really preventing them from visiting the doctor, unless they become seriously sick.
Other excuses as to why men avoid doctors’ visits include lack of health insurance, fear of finding out that a health problem exists, feeling embarrassed about discussing medical issues and having to give too much personal information.
Risks of Not Going to the Doctor
By avoiding annual health check-ups or delaying visits to the doctor for a medical problem, men are in greater danger of higher and earlier death rates. Some of the threats that men face by refusing to go the doctor include:
- Ignoring or overlooking health issues and symptoms such as high blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure that may develop into more serious medical problems,
- Increasing the need for surgery and long hospital stays,
- Reducing the possibility of early detection and successful treatment of diseases such as cancers, diabetes and heart problems,
- Paying more for health costs to treat minor illnesses that usually develop into major issues versus having preventative healthcare,
- Inferior quality of life, resulting from health issues.
Benefits of Going to the Doctor
Visiting the doctor at least annually can only help a man’s general health and well-being. Many health insurance plans offer little or no copays for yearly check-ups, providing more incentives to see the doctor. Some of the benefits that men may gain from regular doctors’ visits are as follows:
- Diagnosing health problems before they become worse,
- Treatment of many diseases and medical conditions with early detection,
- Lessens the risks of bankruptcy due to medical debt,
- Doing age related screening for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and colorectal and prostate cancers,
- Having the peace of mind of knowing their health status and where necessary, taking steps to improve it.
Fears and ignorance about preventive health as well as false attitudes about being manly and feeling fine are some of the major obstacles why men hate going to the doctor. With information to debunk the negative beliefs and encouragement from significant others, many men may lead healthier and more fulfilled lives by visiting the doctor.
Author Byline: Henry Lindsay is a nurse practitioner and guest author at top10medicalschools.net, a site with reviews of top-rated medical degree programs online.