Why Don’t Men Go to See Their Doctor? - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on November 18, 2014

Why Don’t Men Go to See Their Doctor?

Why don’t men go to see their doctor?

Making time for your routine checkup is
extremely important for your overall health.

Men are notorious for skipping a visit to their doctor. In fact, the Movember Foundation reports that men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. Another study discovered that one-third of American men have not had a checkup in the past year and 9 million men haven't seen a doctor in the last five years.

“It seems since the dawn of time, men have avoided the doctor. Surveys have revealed the main reason men avoid the doctor’s office may be that many of them believe that health problems threaten their masculinity. Some experts theorize that, in ancient times, being sick threatened a man’s virility and meant being unable to procreate. Therefore they have a good reason to deny any illness,” said John Munshower, D.O., a Crozer-Keystone family medicine and geriatric medicine physician.

Studies show that most men won’t go to a doctor if they feel well. And when they feel sick, they usually delay seeing the doctor.

“The problem is that feeling well is not the same as being healthy,” Dr. Munshower said. A person can feel “fine” when high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are silently impacting their health.

Sometimes men are reluctant to talk to a doctor about what they perceive as embarrassing physical symptoms. Or they simply don’t have a good relationship with a doctor. However, scheduling annual checkups is a way to build a relationship with a doctor.

“It makes sense to build a good doctor-patient relationship through annual visits. A doctor who feels concerned about you is more likely to give you quick access to medical care when you need it,” he explained.

Those annual checkups offer you more than a better relationship with your doctor – they ensure you’re not just “fine,” but that you’re healthy too.

“Men and all patients, including women who also avoid the doctor, need to know that we aren’t living in the past anymore and advances in medicine have come a long way. Doctors can not only provide care when you’re sick. Regular checkups assure you maintain wellness that will keep you healthy for years to come,” Dr. Munshower stated.

During regular checkups, your doctor will monitor you for all health concerns, including your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If these levels are high or mismanaged, they can lead to even more serious and costly health conditions such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

“Regular checkups will monitor you for all health concerns and will allow you to stay as healthy as possible,” Dr. Munshower said.

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