Visiting your provider for an annual checkup is a simple – and essential – step to staying healthy. So why do some men refuse to go to the doctor regularly?
The American Heart Association explains 10 reasons why many men put off doctor visits . . . and how to get past them.
1. "I don’t have a doctor."
Step one toward staying healthy is finding a doctor you trust. But you’ll never know who you trust until you try. Check your insurance company for doctors in your network. Call their offices and ask questions, or check around online. (You can see all NH+C providers’ bios on our website.) Ask friends and family who they recommend.
2. "I don’t have insurance."
Medical expenses are a concern for many. If you need help affording care, NH+C’s Patient Financial Services office can arrange payment plans (interest-free) and may be able to help with financial assistance.
3. "There’s probably nothing wrong."
You may be right . . . but some serious diseases don’t have symptoms, including high blood pressure which can cause heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol and diabetes often begin with no symptoms. Finding a health problem early can make a big difference in your long-term health and quality of life.
4. "I don’t have time."
Investing a few hours now puts you in a good position to stay healthy – and busy – with all the other hours ahead of you.
5. "I don’t want to spend the money."
Preventive care is a good investment in your long-term health.
6. "Doctors don’t DO anything."
When you get a checkup, it may feel like your provider is simply talking with you and running through checklists and tests. What do you get out of it? Information about yourself – your body, right now – that can keep (or get) you healthy when you act on it.
7. "I don’t want to hear what I might be told."
Maybe you smoke, or drink too much, or have gained weight. It’s hard to hear, but it’s worthwhile to listen, and take advice. Your provider has your best interests – your health – at heart. Be coachable.
8. "I’ve got probe-a-phobia."
Some part of a checkup are intimidating (hello, prostate exam) but it’s just a small part of the whole health picture your provider offers you. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual physical. (P.S. You don’t need that prostate cancer exam until you’re 50.)
9. "I’d rather tough it out."
If pro athletes can play hurt and sacrifice themselves for the team, you ought to be able to suck it up, right? Um, no. Smart athletes – and you – are better off caring for your health for the long-term.
10. "My significant other has been nagging me to get a checkup."
See? Your provider isn’t the only one who cares for you. Loved ones are an important part of your healthcare team. What do they get out of it? A healthier, happier you.
All out of excuses, but still hesitant? Family Medicine providers are a great place to start: https://www.northfieldhospital.org/family-medicine