Health Headaches: Why Do We Avoid Our Doctors?

Lies We Tell Our Doctors

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If you’re like most Americans, you care about being healthy. So why do two out of three of us admit that we don’t take care of ourselves as well as we should, even opting not to visit our primary care providers when we feel we should have? In our recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans, we tried to get to the bottom of that question, and here’s what we found.

There are many reasons why we don’t visit our doctors. Chief among those reasons: We’re fearful of getting bad news; we feel rushed during the visit; we’re frustrated over long wait times and appointments that start late; and we feel inconvenienced by the process of making appointments. The good news: Despite these frustrations, we know our health care experiences can be improved.

But avoiding the doctor isn’t the only big problem with this picture. Even when we do make appointments with our primary care providers, we’re not telling the whole truth. Close to half of us reported keeping secrets from our doctors about lifestyle choices that could significantly affect our health. In fact, 60 percent of us who have a primary care provider said that we would consider holding back information depending on the situation. Here’s a closer look at why many of us are neglecting our health–and what we lie about when we do visit our doctors.

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.