Health & Wellness Weight Management Smoking & Tobacco Quit Center #TeamInspira Life & Health Coaching Fitness Connection Healthy Living Ideas Tips for Improving Your Health in the New Year Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening Connecting Behavioral Health and Physical Health The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Start Your Heart-Healthy Diet Exercising During Pregnancy Small Diet Changes That Make A Big Impact Why Cancer Survivors Could Have Heart Trouble LSVT LOUD Helps Patients Raise their Voices Why Good Form Matters When Weightlifting Four Common Myths About Vaccines Got Spring Allergies? Start Treatment Now Preventive Steps to Avoid Snow-Related Injuries Trying to Conceive in the New Year What to Do if You Get the Stomach Flu Plan Ahead for a Safe Visit with Elderly Relatives What is Cardiac Rehab? Tips for Beating Morning Sickness The Link Between Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes Complications of Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Why Snoring Could Be Bad for Your Heart Managing the Symptoms of IBS Celebrate Men's Health Month with These Important Screenings Tips for Better Sleep Teaching ‘Normal’ Movement with LSVT BIG New Guidelines Impact Daily Aspirin Recommendations 5 Tips to Get Active Safely Should My Daughter (or Son) Get the HPV Vaccine? Five Ways to Keep Your Brain Young Simple Fixes to Avoid Summertime Injuries Reasons Some Men Avoid the Doctor Five Ways to Manage Prediabetes Keep Your Diet on Track this Summer It’s Shark Week! What’s Really Lurking Off the Shoreline Breast Health Screening: Know Your Options What You Need to Know About Mammograms Common Breastfeeding Issues and How to Solve Them Recognizing Stroke Symptoms in Your Loved Ones Who Does What in the World of Mental Health Practitioners Lower Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Ladies: Incontinence Doesn’t Have to Be a Part of Aging Enjoy Halloween Safely With These Tips Here’s What You Need to Know About Lung Nodules What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine's Effectiveness Tips for Managing Your Mental Health Around The Holidays The Relationship Between Birth Defects and Folic Acid What to Expect During Your First Colonoscopy Healthy Recipes Nutrition Counseling Massage Therapy Medical Fitness Programs Rehabilatation and Physical Therapy Sleep Centers S.T.E.P.S. For Kids (preventing childhood obesity) Diabetes Education Reasons Some Men Avoid the Doctor Denial can be versy strong in the male mind. Throw in a little machismo, a busy schedule, and one or two more rationalizations, and it's easy to understand why men often avoid or delay seeking medical care. In my 28 years of family practice, I'd estimate that about 75 percent of my adult patients are female. In fairness to men, they have some legitimate reasons for being less engaged in their health. They don't have a monthly menstrual cycle that puts adolescent girls and women more in touch with their bodies. Young women are also encouraged to begin Pap tests at a young age, and need to see a physician to obtain birth control. Typically, cancer screenings (and cardiac testing) for men don't begin until about age 50. With males, we often see them as patients when they are children or teens, but the 18 to 30 group don't come in unless they have the flu, an orthopedic injury or are too sick for work. They feel young and strong, almost invincible. Yet despite the feeling of invincibility, a healthy 18 to 30 year old should come in for a physical every two or three years. And if we detect any early signs of disease, they will be asked to follow up more regularly. By age 50, the American Academy of Family Practice recommends annual checkups. As physicians, we always prefer to find things early. Whether it's high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose or an irregular heartbeat, we can minimize the impact and possibly slow the progression of we catch them early. Since many conditions don't have symptoms in the early stages, we shouldn't wait until we have symptoms to go for a checkup. That might sound like simple advice. Yet for many men, it presents a challenge because they are often no internally motivated to go to the doctor. Usually it takes external prompting from a spouse or significant other to get them to make an appointment. Sometimes it's okay to wait a few days before deciding to call the doctor's office. If you have cold symptoms, a sore throat, or a mild sprain there is usually no harm in giving yourself a few days. But if you are experiencing chest pains, numbness or blood in your urine, you want to seek care quickly. I have had men come in and tell me they have had concerns or symptoms for months. By putting off going to the doctor, men put themselves at greater risk and might be delaying needed treatment. You might think that male physicians would know better and seek care in a timely manner. Yet many don't. When I served in the military, I had a mentor who eventually admitted to me that he had been peeing blood for months. He was an experienced internal medical physician who certainly understood that he might have a serious medical condition. Like so many men, he was in denial. Let Men's Health Month be a reminder to each of us (males) that we should get regular checkups and seek care when we notice symptoms that might indicate a serious medical condition. Don't ignore chest pain, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, a chronic cough or blood in your urine. You will be doing yourself, and those you love, a favor by seeing a physician. If it's not serious, you'll get peace of mind. If it is serious, you will likely have a better outcome because you sought care early. Greg Herman, M.D., is a family medicine physician with Inspira Medical Group Primary Care Mullica Hill and the Chief Medical Information Officer for Inspira Health.