5 Reasons Men Skip Doctor Visits, and Shouldn’tPosted by Medicare Made Clear
Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The graphic below, created at Georgetown University, shows more shocking statistics. For example:
- 7 million American men have not seen a doctor in more than 10 years.
- Two-thirds of men would not seek a health care professional if they were experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, two early warning signs of a heart attack.
- And, surprisingly, more than half of all premature deaths among men are preventable.
Check out what else is revealed when putting a spotlight on men’s health:
In light of these statistics, it seems like a no-brainer for men to get regular basic health care. So, what prevents them from doing it? The American Heart Association offers the following top reasons that men give for ditching doctor visits, along with a little reality check for each.
1. There’s probably nothing wrong. You may be right, but some serious diseases don’t have symptoms. High blood pressure is one. That’s why they call it “the silent killer.” High cholesterol is another. Ditto diabetes. Finding a health problem early could make a huge difference in the quality and length of your life.
2. You don’t have time. There are about 8,766 hours in a year, and you want to save two? Those two hours could save your life if you really do need a doctor. If you really want to spend more time with your family, these two hours are worth sacrificing.
3. You don’t want to spend the money. It makes more sense to spend a little and save a lot than to save a little and spend a lot. If you think spending time with a doctor is expensive, try spending time in a hospital.
4. You don’t want to hear what you might be told. Maybe you smoke, drink too much, have put on weight. Even so, your doctor’s there to help you. You can deny your reality, but you can’t deny the consequences. So be smart: Listen to someone who’ll tell you truths you need to hear. Be coachable.
5. You’ve got probe-a-phobia. Remember that your chances of surviving prostate cancer are much better if it’s caught early. So it’s worth the exam. And it’s only one small part of a checkup. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual visit with your doctor.
Your Medicare benefits include an annual Medicare Wellness Visit. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you have. You and your doctor can also create your personal prevention plan outlining the preventive services recommended for you.
Medicare Part B covers one Medicare Wellness Visit every 12 months at no additional cost to you. The same is true if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Check your plan materials to see if any additional preventive services are covered.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
Medicare & You: Get the U.S. government’s official Medicare handbook.