Don’t Be That Guy: 4 Reasons Men Avoid the Doctor

Registered Dietician

| 3 min read

National Men’s Health Month is celebrated in June. A very important part of maintaining good health is making it a priority to see your doctor regularly. It is a known stereotype that men are not as proactive about going to regular physician visits as compared to women.
Dr. Scott Eathorne, from St. John Providence Health System, discusses how this trend is starting to change:
There is some validity to that stereotype. Although, what we see in the office are those men that have found a way to overcome that stereotype or listen to their loved one and have gotten in to begin the process of taking care of their own personal health.
Even if the initial push for men to see the doctor is forced upon them by a loved one, Dr. Eathorne expresses how men are getting more involved with their health.
There a lot of reasons that the stereotype has perpetuated – I am pretty confident there are still a number of men who don’t get into the physician’s office. But I think more and more, we’re seeing men who are addressing whatever their issues are and getting in to establish that relationship with their personal care physician.

Valid Excuses?

Even though men are making some strides in pursuing their health, according to Dr. Eathorne, there are four main reasons they avoid going to see their physician. I have also added ways to overcome men’s fears and concerns regarding doctor appointments.
  1. Fear of the unknown – especially those who haven’t been to the doctor in a while – maybe since childhood immunizations scared them off and they’re not sure what to expect. To support the man in your life, be logical. Give them as much information as possible so they know what to expect.
  1. Pain avoidance – concern that they’ll experience something uncomfortable. Again, a lot of this has to do with knowledge. By investigating and explaining procedures to men, they will have better understanding. If this does not work, remind them that by avoiding initial doctor’s appointments could lead to more involved procedures in the future.
  1. Inconvenience – difficulty getting in/making appointment. This is where babying the man in your life might occur, especially for the first appointment. So make the call and appointment for them. Go with them to the doctor to show your support.
  1. Cost of health care – concerns whether or not they can afford it. This is when it become very important to do your research and have things organized regarding your health insurance. Have good understanding of what is covered and by which physicians.
These are valid reasons, so my suggestion is to listen to the man in your life and support them. Help them understand why being proactive is important for a healthy lifestyle. In turn, if there is a health concern that needs attention, dealing with it sooner is better to avoid any long-term chronic conditions or health scares. Listen to Dr. Scott Eathorne discuss this in greater detail here: Radio Show Men's Health Month

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

There are many things that can be done to make better choices for a healthier life.Taking control is well within anyone’s reach. Here are some simple things men can do:
  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least five days per week
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day
  • Watch the fat and sodium in your diet
So guys: what do you do to stay healthy? Do you see your doctor regularly? And ladies: what do you do to help the men in your life stay healthy?
Photo Credit: SharkThe

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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