It’s no secret that most men are reluctant to seek advice from health professionals. As studies suggest that over 60% of men avoid going to the doctor for as long as possible, it’s important to try to break down barriers. If you’re considering reaching out, but you're unsure, it’s beneficial to understand what happens when you see health professionals and what you can expect in terms of treatment standards and provision.
Privacy and confidentiality
One of the main reasons men avoid going to the doctor is embarrassment. Many people, especially men, are embarrassed to talk about symptoms or feeling unwell, and they might even feel ashamed. It is essential to understand that you will be seen in private by your doctor and that any information you share will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. All medical professionals are required to adhere to regulations and guidelines governing client confidentiality. It is also important to know that healthcare professionals are not there to judge. They are there to help. There is every chance that they will have seen the symptoms you present with tens, hundreds or even thousands of times before.
Expertise and advice
Doctors and other medical professionals undertake several years of training to qualify and gain certifications. When you visit a healthcare professional, you should feel confident that the person you see has the relevant expertise and experience to provide advice, offer treatment guidance or refer you for specialist care. In the vast majority of cases, patients feel comfortable and confident and they are happy with the treatment or advice they receive, but there are isolated examples of negligence, which may be passed onto medical malpractice attorneys. If for any reason you have doubts over the quality of care, or you feel like your treatment has been substandard, you are within your rights to ask for a second opinion and to contact experienced attorneys.
Doctors have busy schedules, but they manage their diaries in order to ensure they have sufficient time to see patients and provide suitable advice. In many cases, when you see healthcare professionals, you won’t need a follow-up appointment, but your doctor may advise you to schedule another visit. You may need further tests, or you may be advised to monitor your symptoms and return if they persist or get worse. If you are advised to come back or to visit a different doctor, make sure you follow instructions.
Communication can be a major issue for patients, especially men who have put off going to the doctor for a long time. When you have your consultation, try to be as open and honest as possible about your symptoms and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want more information or you have concerns. Effective communication can help to strengthen relationships and make going to the doctor less daunting in the future.
Most men admit to putting off going to the doctor for as long as possible. If you have concerns about your health, or you’ve noticed abnormal symptoms, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment. When you visit health professionals, you will be seen privately, the information you share will be confidential and your doctor will take the time to speak to you about your symptoms, carry out examinations and tests and discuss potential treatment options with you.