When little kids are scared to go to the doctor, they hide behind a closet
door. When adults are scared to go to the doctor, they hide behind a smokescreen
Here are direct rebuttals for the most common excuses.
If I go to the doctor for a medical exam, I'm afraid I'll get bad news.
Stop assuming the worst. Most people who see a doctor for a medical exam
don't get bad news. You'll learn about your current state of health
and receive an appraisal of any health risk. If you do learn about a problem
you weren't aware of, the chances are good that you'll get advise
or treatment that will ameliorate the problem or reduce your risk of developing
a problem in the future.
I feel fine and don't have any disease symptoms. Why go looking for trouble?
Feeling fine doesn't always mean your health is fine. Many diseases—hypertension,
diabetes, many cancers—have no symptoms until things are far along.
Remember, you're not looking for trouble. You're looking for ways
to stay healthy. By discovering a silent condition like high blood pressure,
a curable breast cancer or high cholesterol and, if appropriate treating
it earlier rather than later, you avoid having troubles that could have
I'm embarrassed to talk to my doctor about my body.
Most people have aspects of their bodies and lives that they feel shy,
embarrassed or even ashamed about. Doctors are trained to listen and be
understanding. In general, doctors will encourage patients to be open,
since they know they have more to offer patients who are able to speak
openly about themselves.
Tests are painful and scary. Why should I put myself through the agony?
What agony? Most tests are simple physical examinations, like Pap smears
and prostate exams, or imaging tests like mammograms, or blood tests.
Some are uncomfortable, but few are painful. The potential gain is far
greater than the discomfort.
The bottom line is, if you discover something early that you can take care
of, you'll avoid a lot of agony later.
I'm so busy that I don't have time to visit the doctor.
This is probably the most common excuse. In fact, most people have plenty
of time to attend to their health care needs. It ends up being a matter
of priority. Find a system, such as timing it to a birthday or a season,
and just get in the habit of making time to visit your primary care doctor,
just as you would make time for other important things in your life.
How often have you heard someone say, "I wish I had gone to the doctor
Make your doctor appointment today. If you are in need of a physician let
Torrance Memorial help find the right physician for you.
Torrance Memorial's free physician referral service has hundreds of high-qualified South Bay doctors representing every specialty.