Psychology of Wellness: Why Men Don't Go to
For millennia, women have wondered why men steer clear of doctors. Avoidance is especially common in men ages 20 to 40. In this age range, men are twice as likely as women to die from any cause.
In one large survey, three times more men than women said they had not seen a doctor in the last 12 months.
In the survey, 25 percent of men said they would wait as long as they could before getting help with a health problem.
Now research shows why men delay treatment when it comes to health care.
Surveys find that the biggest reason guys steer clear of doctors may be that many men believe health problems threaten their masculinity. Some experts theorize that, way back on the tree of human ancestry, being ill meant being unable to procreate. Thus, men had a vested interest in denying ill health.
But that was then and this is now. These days, studies show that most men will not go to a doctor if they feel good.
Men should understand that feeling fine is not the same as being healthy. A person can feel fine while high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are silently affecting their health.
Many men, too, are reluctant to talk about certain physical symptoms. High on the list: getting up more than once a night to pee, seeing blood on the toilet paper or in the tank, erectile dysfunction and an itchy rash almost anywhere on the body.
Other men simply do not have a good relationship with a doctor. They are most uncomfortable when they believe a doctor is being overbearing or giving too much information.
However, building a relationship with a doctor through an annual check-up makes good sense. A doctor who feels concerned about you is more likely to give you quick access to medical care when you need it.
We can help men (and women) find a personal doctor. Members can find a doctor who fits their needs. Use our Provider Finder to search for a doctor who fits your needs.
Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians, Men's Health magazine