why don't men go to the doctor
Healthy Living

Why Don’t Men Go to the Doctor As Much As They Should?

Jun 12 2024

Did you know that men are 33 percent less likely to see a doctor than women?

While plenty of men and women put off seeking care, men avoid the doctor more often. So why don’t men go to the doctor as often?

Staying fit, sharp and at the top of your game is ultimately up to you. The good news is the leading health threats that men face are largely preventable. That means you can take control of them.

The main health concern is heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death in men, accounting for one in every four deaths.  After that, the top killers for men are lung, prostate and colorectal cancers, according to the CDC.

Despite these facts, men are less likely than women to have visited a doctor or sought medical care within the past year.

“Perhaps one reason men don’t go to the doctor is because they are too busy with their jobs and family and feel that they have no time to see a doctor and tend to put any health concerns on hold,” Dino Morello, MD, of Mercy Health — Kings Mills Primary Care shares. “This puts them at risk. Something as simple as an occasional episode of indigestion can actually be a sign of severe heart disease!”

In fact, surveys have shown that men admit they would rather do household chores than go to a health care provider.

It’s important for everyone to see a primary care provider.

Getting established with a primary care provider is the first step, regardless of age. Yearly appointments with a primary care provider can help catch medical issues before they become costly and difficult to treat. Annual appointments include screenings for blood pressure, body mass index, diabetes, physical exam, cholesterol and social history assessment (which includes tobacco, alcohol use and sexual activity).

Your primary care provider can also help to make sure you’re up to date on the appropriate annual screenings for your age, gender and family history, such as a colorectal screening and rectal exam or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

Dr. Morello says it needs to start with addressing specifics.

“Men should have routine exams for blood pressure monitoring, blood work for cholesterol, metabolic, diabetic and prostate screenings, as well as colorectal screenings starting at age 45,” he shares.

More men’s health tips

Nothing can replace going to your annual wellness check or seeking medical care when you need it. However, there are things you can do in between your appointments to improve your health.

  • If you smoke, there is no better time to quit than now. Smoking is the major cause of heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Diet and nutrition are important. Enjoy a variety of healthy foods daily, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Limit foods high in salt, fat and sugar.
  • De-stress your life. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, or if you’re being threatened or hurt by someone.
  • Aim to be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes on most days. Walk the dog, bike or take the stairs — getting any exercise is better than none at all.

How we can help

Preventive care is key to treating existing health conditions as well as avoiding others. If you don’t already have a primary care provider, finding a doctor you like and trust will make you more likely to go. If you’re still hesitant to make an appointment, have someone like your spouse or a family member accompany you – it’s best to get to the appointment rather than not go at all.

Learn more about the primary care services we offer at Mercy Health. 

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Would like more info
November 07th, 2018 | 12:12pm

Mercy Health

Hi Alonzo, please let us know what you're looking for and we're happy to assist! You can also find a doctor directly on our website and make an appointment through online scheduling.
November 08th, 2018 | 8:41am

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