Very few people actually enjoy visiting their health providers because it feels like facing the bearer of bad news. Are you one of them? Don’t let worry stop you from taking charge of your health, even if it’s scary. Consider these tips for facing your “fear of the doctor.”
Examine Your Provider Options
The right health provider is like a glove that fits perfectly. You want someone you feel comfortable around. Look at the “Find a Doctor” section of your insurance website and see who is in network. Look at the reviews for those providers and see what others are saying about their care. When you feel as though you might have found a good fit, give him/her or their practice a call.
Stay Up-to-Date with E-communications
Medical appointments feel a little less scary if you feel like you’re a “part of the team.” Stay up-to-date on your provider and their clinic/practice by signing up for E-communications with the latest news. Maybe they’ve won an award, served the community or are seeking patient insight.
Prepare for Your Appointment
Before securing an appointment, record your current list of medications and what health concerns/topics you’d like addressed. Then write down your concerns and questions. Finally, record your health goals and what you’d like assistance with so you can achieve them. By the time your appointment rolls around, you’ll feel a lot more prepared and your provider will be impressed.
Seek Out Help
If your fear of making a medical appointment is too great, seek help from others. A counselor can help you mentally prepare for an appointment, or a close friend or family member can accompany you. Rely on your support system to help you be proactive with your health.
Why You Shouldn’t Delay Medical Appointments
You might get away with procrastinating on getting a car wash or oil change, but that doesn’t fly with your health. Aside from biological factors, your body is a reflection of how you treat it. Part of the treatment continuum is making sure you get checkups regularly. Here’s why:
- You can identify problems you may not have known existed
- You can treat existing problems before they get worse
- You can elevate your quality of life and stay informed
- You set an example for your friends and family
Total health is about so much more than eating “healthy” food, getting a little exercise and sleeping for 7-8 hours each night. It’s about paying attention to your body and keeping it in working condition — whether that condition is physical, mental or both.