Does the feeling of walking into a doctor’s office, waiting for your name to be called, changing into a gown and going through a series of tests fill you with dread? You’re not alone. Three percent of the population have a phobia of doctors, but many more put off seeing a physician because they’re anxious about how it will go or don’t want to hear bad news. But seeing your doctor for regular checkups alleviates you of the unknown. And when you notice a troubling symptom, it is crucial to catch small problems before they become more serious. Here are the top reasons people are afraid of going to the doctor, and how to overcome those fears:
- You have unhealthy habits you can’t shake. Some people dread having to admit to their doctor that they eat a little too much fast food or haven’t exercised since high school. Some say they don’t want to listen to someone remind them of what they already know. But doctors are trained to be supportive. Their focus is not to judge, but to offer realistic suggestions to improve your health.
- You have a symptom that makes you worry it could be something serious. Many people say they don’t want to hear a diagnosis. But catching something early is often key to making sure it doesn’t turn into a larger health issue. If you don’t know how to bring something up that you’re worried about, there are plenty of tips for opening the dialogue with your doctor.
- You’re worried about how to pay for it. Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, the uninsured rate in Michigan has dropped from 12.5 percent to 8.5 percent. And for all of those with a plan, preventive care is covered. If you are one of the Michiganders who is still uninsured, now is the time to sign up for a 2016 plan and ensure you are covered for preventive health measures, such as immunizations or screening tests.
- You worry about how long a doctor’s visit can take. It can be tough to coordinate a trip to the doctor’s office around your busy schedule, but the short time you spend visiting the doctor now can prevent health issues later on. One way to make the most of your visit is to put together a list of all your health concerns. This way when you visit the doctor, you’ll have all of your questions answered in the appointment.
Interested in learning more about how non-scary a trip to your primary doctor can be? Try reading these other posts:
- 5 Ways To Reduce Your Wait Time At The Doctor’s Office
- 5 Tips For Choosing a New Doctor
- Switching Doctors? What You Need To Know
Photo credit: Army Medicine