A survey last year confirmed something we all suspected: Men don’t like going to the doctor for their annual physical. Despite their steadfast willingness to go the extra mile for their families, they are far less likely to make and keep an appointment with a physician.
The top three reasons men gave for skipping a visit to the doctor’s office included:
- Too busy to make an appointment
- Afraid to find out something may be wrong
- Concerned or embarrassed about possible exams or procedures
Those are valid concerns, but they aren’t reason enough to skip the trip to your primary care physician.
Here are my four reasons an annual physical is worth the hassle:
You should always make time for your health
I get it — you’re busy. Between work commitments, shuttling kids around, taking care of the house and just some downtime to spend the way you like, our schedules are full. But your health should never take a backseat to your to-do lists. Your health, in fact, is what enables you to follow-through on commitments and be there for family and friends. Invest some time in yourself and carve out time for your annual physical.
Early intervention is key
Many people have anxiety around seeing the doctor. The unknown is always scary, especially if you suspect something is wrong. But, that is even more reason to make an appointment. The earlier you and your doctor identify any potential health issue, the sooner we can begin addressing it. The good news is that many chronic conditions are easily managed, particularly when you catch them early. You can even take steps to reduce your risk of developing conditions like diabetes if your physician thinks you are at risk.
The worst part of the exam is the anticipation
A digital rectal exam, for instance, may seem embarrassing, but it’s not painful and it’s usually over before you realize it. Don’t let a simple procedure stop you from getting a physical that can identify any potential health risks.
It’s easier than ever to find a doctor
One reason men put off going to the doctor is that they don’t have one of their own. If you don’t have a doctor, ask family and friends or do a little research of your own. Tanner Health System offers a free 24-hour physician referral line at 770.214.CARE (2273) that you can call to find a physician near you and schedule an appointment. You can also search online to read bios of nearby doctors and get a better idea of their specialty and approach.
Dr. Boss is board-certified in family practice with Villa Rica Family Medicine, part of Tanner Medical Group. For more information, call 770.456.3790 or visit www.VillaRicaFamilyMedicine.org.