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Why Men Avoid the Doctor: Breaking Down Barriers for Better Health

“The doctor found something wrong. See. I told you. This is why I don't go to the doctor”


A sentiment shared by many men facing the harsh reality of a serious diagnosis.


There are multiple reasons why men don’t visit doctors.


Let’s start with the most pervasive.


Fear.





This fear of bad news is one of the significant reasons why men avoid doctor visits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 37% of men avoid the doctor because they’re not ready to face a potential diagnosis or health issue.


Then there’s tough it out. The same Cleveland Clinic survey found that 41% of men were told as children that men don’t complain about their health.


Practical barriers also play a significant role. In the Cleveland Clinic survey, 61% of men said they would be more likely to go to their annual check-ups if seeing the doctor was more convenient.


Then, there is a lack of routine. Unlike women, who often start visiting doctors regularly for reproductive health from a young age, men typically don’t have the same kind of routine.


What can we do?


Community-Based Health Programs

Community-based health Programs, such as Metro's Health Minority Men’s Health Fair, have successfully reached men who might not otherwise seek care. The UH Cutler Center for Men has also committed to men's health by providing full wrap-around services designed to support men.


TelehealthThe Role of Telehealth

Telehealth is making it easier for men to see a doctor without taking time off work or leaving home.


Creating Health Milestones





Men can benefit from associating health check-ups with memorable dates, like their birthday, Father's Day, or the week of the NBA Finals. This helps create a routine and makes the act of scheduling and attending appointments second nature.


Talking Openly About Health

Encouraging men to talk openly about their health concerns with friends and family can reduce the stigma and make seeking help more acceptable.


Men’s health is a critical area that requires more attention and proactive measures. By focusing on physical health, addressing mental health issues, and adopting preventive practices, men can significantly improve their overall well-being. It’s time to prioritize health, break the stigma, and take actionable steps towards a healthier, happier life.



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