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How to Get the Man in Your Life to Seek Medical Care

Why do men often resist seeking medical treatment? There is a certain practicality to how the female population views routine visits to a medical provider, but men simply have fewer reasons to care about preventative care—or at least they think they do. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that 85 percent of the male respondents only sought treatment when sick, and even then they waited a few days to make sure it was absolutely necessary.

Women tend to see wellness through the lens of prevention, and that means at least getting an annual physical. What can you do to nudge the men in your life in the right direction?

Appeal to His Need for Power

Point out the real power comes with taking control of your own health. An annual physical is how healthcare consumers partner with their primary care physicians (PCPs) to monitor key metrics like cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. A PCP is an asset when it comes to staying physically active and eating right, too.

Appeal to His Love of Family

Health screening is not (just) about him—but about his family—especially for dads and husbands over the age of 50. Prostate cancer kills more than 25,000 men a year and affects about one in every seven men. The odds aren’t much better for colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S. and one that kills almost 50,000 people a year. The key to surviving these two forms of cancer is early detection. Point out that it is a gift he can give to his family.

Appeal to His Sense of Finance

Chronic illnesses cost money and are more time-consuming than that once-a-year checkup. Delaying or preventing chronic illnesses requires screening and a partnership with a clinician to keep you on track with a healthy diet and effective exercise plan. Currently, more than two-thirds of all health care costs go towards treating one or more chronic illnesses like hypertension or diabetes.

Do Your Part

How you handle the situation will make a difference, as well. Nagging can backfire, so be strategic on how you approach the subject. Don’t put him on the defense or make it seem like making an appointment is “giving in.” Consider your best options for getting him there and come up with a plan. Some ideas:

  • Be proactive to eliminate the procrastination factor—find a clinician and make an appointment for him. Schedule it at a time when you know he is free, and then put it on his calendar. It’s possible he will go just to avoid a conflict, or to please you.
  • Add a little sugar coating to the idea—if he protests, point out how long it has been since his last checkup and explain that you worry about his health. You want him to be around for a long time.

Preventative health is an appealing concept if you spin it right. If the men in your life are being stubborn about an annual checkup, use your superpower to get them there!