Why most men avoid doctor visits
BALTIMORE – Some men would rather clean the bathroom or mow the lawn than go to a doctor. A recent study found that men have many reasons or excuses for not making an appointment with a doctor.
As June and Men’s Health Month draws to a close, WMAR-2 News spoke with a doctor about what he thinks might help men open up and talk about their health.
Superman’s weakness is kryptonite, but for the average man, his downfall is often not admitting that he has to go to a doctor.
Johns Hopkins Bayview physician Paul O’Rourke said, “They have a bit of a superhero complex in the hopes that the ailments and issues they face will naturally improve over time or may develop. ‘improve over time with just the things they do. And, they feel a sort of sense of vulnerability in the doctor. “
O’Rourke notes that this is not just a myth.
“Numerous studies have shown that men in particular really seem to have a lot of anxiety coming to doctors. A 2019 Cleveland Clinic survey showed that almost 2/3 of the men in that study said they preferred to avoid going to the doctor, ”O’Rourke said.
Even guys who visit their doctor aren’t always telling the truth about everything that ails them. The same Cleveland Clinic study shows that one in three men deliberately withhold information from their doctor.
“It seems that these are often issues that can be more sensitive. These could be issues related to sexual health and erectile dysfunction, but these are really important things to talk about as we recognize that you know this is part of the overall health and wellbeing of your life. ‘a person. I would really like to reassure men that they will recognize that these medical issues that you can individually feel sensitive and uncomfortable with are very common, ”said O’Rourke.
For some men, avoiding a medical visit is not just a fear of embarrassment, but a fear of what a doctor may tell them.
“They may feel better thinking that a lot of symptoms will get better over time, they will get better on their own, and worrying about going to the doctor may cause them to face a wrong diagnosis or to a bad result, ”said O’Rourke.
How often a man should see a doctor depends on family history and individual medical issues.
“I think people in their twenties and thirties can often take a test every two years. A chance to check in on her health, maybe to talk about some lifestyle changes that could be used to promote her health and well-being later on. But, I would usually recommend it around the age of 40, in general it’s worth starting to go to the doctor once a year, ”O’Rourke said.
Dr. O’Rourke is not only Associate Program Director in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, but Assistant Professor of Medicine. He hopes to play a role in changing men’s health habits.
“A lot of men avoid going to the doctor because they feel judged based on their lifestyle or because they maybe avoided. One thing I like to say to my own patients, and I hope we are changing within the medical community as well, is that you don’t have to feel judged in any way. is. May your doctor, your medical team be there to partner with you, ”said O’Rourke.