When was the last time you went to the doctor?
I'm not talking about urgent care when you had a mono scare or needed a few stitches. I'm talking about checkups by your primary-care doctor.
According to a survey put out by online medical scheduling company ZocDoc, 93 percent of millennials (adults aged 18 - 34) are purposely avoiding the doctor's office.
In fact, 80 percent of all adults admitted avoiding the doctor in ZocDoc's survey.
You're really blowing this whole adulting thing, btw.
I completely get avoiding the doctor, especially when people are driven by convenience and cost. The doctor is anything but convenient, and whether or not you have health insurance, the cost can get pretty high.
With that being said, it's also worth noting that preventative services such as those covered by healthcare companies are definitely worth getting regular checkups for. Here's why avoiding the doctor just isn't worth it.
1. Preventative care can curb ER visits.
Millennials are part of a special group that visits the emergency room much more frequently. Yes, you and I visit the ER more than our grandparents!
This is for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is that we just don't go to the doctor for checkups that could limit ER visits.
Remember that having health insurance is about more than emergency services, it's also about getting preventative care that can stop those urgent care or emergency visits. When you know in advance that something is wrong, you can take steps to prevent a drastic situation from happening.
Preventative services include:
- Screenings such as STD screenings, skin cancer screenings and even depression and domestic violence screenings.
- Birth control (yes, this is essentially preventative medicine).
- Blood work that can screen for diabetes, cholesterol problems and thyroid issues.
- Addiction counseling for substances such as tobacco and alcohol.
- Obesity prevention.
All of these services are easily done or arranged during a checkup at your doctor's office.
2. Being proactive is easier than being sick.
Waiting to see your doctor for an hour sucks. It makes no sense. Why not go to urgent care when you can be seen quickly? Millennials are looking for fast care that's easy and cheap.
So why would you go to the doctor, especially if nothing is wrong?
We all have busy lives, but the thing is, something can and likely will go wrong with your health someday. When it does, the emergency room you visit or the urgent care clinic may not know you and they won't have your medical records.
This means you're being treated on the spot. Doctors and other medical professionals could easily miss something crucial about you that will affect both your treatment and its outcome. Having an established relationship with your doctor is just easier when you need medical care.
If you're concern is missing work or a few hours of your day, how much is it going to suck when you are bedridden for over a week?
Preventative care is easy and it's better than being sick. If you think that waiting to see your doctor is bad, go wait in the emergency room. Knowing about your health is empowering, so get regular checkups and stay healthy!
3. Making it happen is so easy.
First of all, shop for a good healthcare plan. This can make preventative services free and also protect you in the event of a medical disaster.
Second, you can use online appointment booking apps to avoid spending time on the phone or having to verbally tell someone what's wrong with you. This is especially beneficial if you're booking an appointment while at work or are embarrassed to tell someone about what's going on, even if it's a stranger.
You can also take advantage of telemedicine services. They can help you connect with a doctor whether or not you have insurance, and often for a cheaper fee. This avenue of getting connected with health care professionals is becoming increasingly popular.
There are a few no-brainers you can do to be healthier today. Being young and invincible is cool and all, but one day, your guardian angel is going to go out to happy hour. And when she does, you having a good doctor and some health insurance in place so you can take the best care of yourself possible will help along with preventative services!