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Top 10 Excuses People Give for Not Going to See a PCP

Primary Care Physicians say they get a million excuses from people who put off making an appointment. Here are the top 10 excuses our doctors hear from patients about why they stayed away.

10. I had a bad experience with a doctor.

Not all doctors and patients are a good fit. Find a doctor you respect and with whom you can relate.

9. The doctor will yell at me for not coming in sooner.

“Patients don’t always make seeing a doctor a priority, and it’s the first thing that drops off when they get busy,” says Dr. Malekiani. Don’t neglect your health for any reason. Physicians are there to care for you, not judge you.

8. I need to be in great shape before I go to the doctor.

“As doctors, we take care of people the way they are, no matter what,” says Dr. Matthews. A PCP is on your team to help you meet your goals.

7. There’s nothing wrong with me.

This is the best time to see a PCP. Baseline numbers are established for later comparison and the doctor might find and catch something early such as borderline high blood pressure or pre-diabetes.

6. I’m too sick to go see the doctor.

Dr. Matthews says this is a particularly unhelpful excuse. It’s important to see a physician to manage your illness and get on the path to recovery.

5. I don’t need any help.

The doctors say they usually hear this from men. “Generally speaking, men like to do things on their own,” Dr. Rimicci says. “When it comes to your health, never hesitate to ask a doctor for help.”

4. I don’t want the doctor to find out about a bad habit I have and make me feel guilty.

Doctors have heard virtually every bad health habit there is. “Whenever people tell me about anything, I listen and address it in a helpful way,” Dr. Rimicci says. A good doctor works with their patients to overcome bad habits and develop a healthy lifestyle.

3. I’m afraid to hear what the doctor will say.

See your PCP for regular checkups or when you think something is wrong. Knowledge is power.

2. I don’t like getting a physical.

This is an important exam and one you need to have done.

1. I’m too busy.

A serious health problem will eliminate that excuse. Be proactive; make time to take care of your health.

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