Here’s Why Most Dads Neglect Seeing Their Doctors

Dads commonly avoid the doctor. We’ll look at why and suggest ways to overcome this issue.

Dads Ditch Doctor’s Appointments: Reasons and Solutions

Fathers and busy guys routinely avoid making health care appointments and attending cancer screenings. In fact, a survey by the Cleveland Clinic found that 40 percent of men ages 18 to 70 only saw a doctor if they were extremely worried about a potentially serious issue. The same survey uncovered that 40 percent of men also avoid getting annual physical exams. With the current prevalence of heart disease, cancer, and obesity, visiting the doctor is more important than ever. Building a rapport with a primary care physician can help men of all ages look after their health and feel their best.

Reasons Men Avoid Health Care

While it can be common for some women to talk about their health with others, men tend to keep health worries to themselves. This can sometimes lead them to feel unsupported and overly anxious about what may happen or what could be diagnosed if they do visit a doctor. For some men, struggles with weight management or “dad bod” can make them feel ashamed or embarrassed about undressing for a medical exam. They may even fear that they will get a lecture from the doctor about the need for weight loss. Many people, men included, often avoid the doctor because they are afraid or unsure of what a medical exam may entail and worry that some exams may be painful.

Steps That Can Help Men Receive Care

Information and support from friends and loved ones are empowering when facing uncertainty. Men who haven’t seen a doctor in years could start by reading online about what happens during a physical exam and what cancer screenings are commonly recommended for their age group. Guys can ask people they trust for recommendations of understanding, supportive physicians in their community. For men who are especially nervous, asking a family member or friend to schedule an initial appointment for them can sometimes help. If needed, having someone accompany the patient to a health care visit is often particularly beneficial. Starting small and breaking things down into manageable steps can help men feel more comfortable when dealing with health care needs.

Men could start by scheduling an initial appointment just to talk with a doctor without having an exam. This may be particularly helpful for those who have medical phobias. If tests and cancer screenings are needed, some men may find it less stressful to have these done during separate, shorter appointments. For those who are afraid of needles or pain, prescription pain-relieving gels are available to make tests more tolerable. Whatever the reason you may be avoiding doctors, we hope that these tips will inspire you to schedule a health care appointment. You will be glad you did.