Overcoming Doctor Avoidance

While there are some fantastic doctors in the health field, many people shy away from medical treatment for a variety of reasons. For some, it doesn’t even come down to bad experiences with doctors, but rather more systemic issues such as lack of affordability or lack of access. Others may be suspicious of health organizations and institutions, and therefore seek homeopathic care.

Whatever reason your doctor avoids, it’s important to receive proper medical care. Your health and wellness should be your number one priority, whatever your fears or concerns.

Reasons we avoid going to the doctor

Unfortunately, dislikes of doctors are much more common than you might think – nearly a third of adults avoid seeing a doctor, even when they know medical attention is needed. Here are a few reasons for this:

Anxiety or other psychological distress

Studies show that anxiety and other mental and psychological health issues are common reasons people avoid receiving needed health care. Many of us deal with anxiety in one way or another, but for those with more severe psychological distress, seeing a doctor can be especially frightening and trigger feelings of panic and fear. intense anxiety.

Distrust of doctors

We have all had times when we felt our doctor was not listening to us or giving us the right treatment. Women especially struggle with this, and all too often doctors will downplay or dismiss their symptoms or concerns. This is one of the main reasons why women and other marginalized communities suffer from avoidance of doctors. What’s the point in paying for the visit if your doctor is just going to ignore you or prescribe something totally unnecessary?

Prefer personal care or alternative medicine

Many of those who have had bad experiences with modern medicine will instead turn to alternative or homeopathic practices to treat their ailments. Even those who have never had a bad experience may simply have a more natural or non-traditional perspective when it comes to treating the condition. Either way, integrative medicine practices are growing in popularity and often bypassing traditional doctors and treatments.

Fear of needles

For some, fear of needles, also known as trypanophobia, is the main reason they avoid the doctor. People will continually postpone or cancel appointments they already have when they know in advance that their doctor is going to use needles, injections, or vaccines.

Financial concerns

If you don’t have insurance or your plan doesn’t provide good coverage, you may want to bypass the doctor because you can’t afford the cost of treatment. This is a reasonable concern, and unfortunately, with the rising cost of health care, all too common.

According to CNBC, nearly 22% of Americans avoid medical care because of the cost, and nearly 15% have family members who have done the same. Since this is a systemic problem, it is a problem that requires systemic solutions.

How to overcome your fears

All of the above reasons and concerns are understandable. However, whether you think you have a good reason or not, avoiding seeking the necessary medical attention will often do you more harm than good. It is generally in your best interest to take care of your own health and see a doctor, not only when needed, but also for preventive care. If you’re feeling anxious, suspicious, or have other worries, here are some ways to overcome these issues:

  • Know your rights – If you do not trust your doctor or are concerned that he will do something that you do not want him to do, it is useful to find out about your rights as a patient. In many situations, doctors have a strict duty to obey your wishes and follow your healthcare guidelines.
  • Defend for yourself – Speak up and don’t let your doctor dismiss you or dismiss your concerns. Women, in particular, need to be confident when talking to their health care providers. Keep track of everything your doctor does and says, and let him know you’re perfectly happy to seek a second opinion if he refuses to listen to you.
  • Bring someone for support – It’s always a good idea to have someone with you to support you if you have any concerns. Whether they’re just there to offer comfort and moral support or to stand up for you, having a loved one by your side can help you have a more positive doctor visit experience.
  • Find a patient advocate : If money is a concern, some doctor’s offices, health centers and hospitals have patient advocates on hand to help with insurance and finances.
  • Use relaxation techniques : If you experience overwhelming fear or anxiety when you see a doctor, try using things like meditation or breathing exercises to help calm yourself down. You can even do yoga ahead of time or listen to relaxing music while sitting in the waiting room.


There are various reasons why people may avoid seeking the medical attention they need. Fortunately, there are several ways to allay the fears or concerns that accompany their doctor’s avoidance. Use the techniques listed above whenever needed, and when in doubt, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about any hesitation you may have.

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