22 Days Of Doing Better: Day 21

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Trying to live your best life in 2018 — or at least a better one? We’re here to help with #DoBetter2018, a 22-day series of how-to articles to help you achieve some of the most common New Year’s resolutions and personal growth goals.
In a study published in 2014 titled Why Do People Avoid Medical Care? A Qualitative Study Using National Data, it was found that the three main reasons people tend to shy away from the doctor’s office were quite varied. They will all sound familiar to you.
They included 33 percent of people citing unfavorable reviews of past experiences seeking medical care, particularly due to concerns about physicians, health care organizations and affective issues. The second issue was 12 percent of people not thinking they needed medical care, with four percent saying their conditions and issues went away with time. And lastly, 58.4 percent said they didn’t go to the doctor often due to the accessibility of care. That included 24.1 percent being deterred by costs, 8.3 percent not having health insurance and 15 percent simply saying they didn’t have the time.
So which category do you fall under?
Wherever you fit, if you’re someone looking to do better, especially if you’re all about self-care, then you need to make seeing a doctor regularly a priority. Whether that’s your general practitioner, a gynecologist, dermatologist, dentist or the like, if at any point you find yourself tonguing a pain in your mouth or feel consistently under the weather, you need to stop thinking and talking about seeing a doctor and actually make the effort to do it.
And with Millennials being the most likely to avoid going to the doctor (a 2015 Zocdoc survey of 2,000 found nine out of 10 were not scheduling medical appointments) and 80 percent of individuals of all ages saying they delay or have decided not to seek preventative care, it’s about time to make the time.
Dr. Jennifer Caudle of Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine told U.S. News & World Report that even if you think you feel 100 percent, it’s a benefit to your all-around well-being to still go out and see a doctor.
“Even if you’re perfectly healthy and you’re getting your preventive screenings, if you’re not seen for a while, it doesn’t open up the opportunity for conversations about your general well-being,” she said.
But who are we kidding? The medical system doesn’t necessarily make it the easiest for us to gain access to physicians and get all of our questions answered in one appointment. You’ve likely called the doctor and been told you could be seen in a month or two. Or maybe you actually made it into the office and received no clear answer about whatever is going on with you. However, the more often you seek out medical opinions, as opposed to only going once a year, the better the chance you will have to getting the information you need. And the better the chance you will get it from a doctor who seems to care — not just about getting you out of their office in 30 minutes.. And if you only call for a doctor when you want to see one ASAP (but it’s not technically an emergency), the more often you will find yourself disappointed by wait lists, impatient phone operators and delays.
With the ways the foods we eat and many other things we don’t individually have control over impact our health these days, you can never have too much information when it come to what’s going on with your body. So if you have health insurance, meaning you’re paying for it monthly, take advantage of it. The more peace of mind you have, the better off you will feel and should be in the long run.
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