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Ask the Good Enough Guy: Why Won’t Men Go To The Doctors?

Okay Will,

What is the deal with men and doctors? I make sure I have a physical every year, including the not-so-fun lady doctor and yet my husband of 15 years only goes when I make the appointment for him. What are you guys so afraid of?


Carla, California


I’ll tell you exactly what we’re afraid of: DOCTORS! And now, I’ll give you the short list as to why:


1.     THE HIGHER THE MILES, THE HIGHER THE MAINTENANCE – I, like most men, don’t understand all of those huge words coming out of a doctor’s mouth or that weird language that he writes on his note pad, but I do know a thing or two about cars. If you drive your car everyday, and you don’t take care of it… it won’t last five years. If you drive it everyday and you do take care of it, you may get ten or even fifteen years… but either way, one day, your car WILL stop running. Well, we all drive our bodies every day. Some of us take better care of it than others, but either way, doctors remind us that even if nothing is wrong now… someday, something will be.

2.     NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS –Most men live by the creed, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which means, unless there’s a broken bone poking through our skin or one of our important body parts stops working altogether, we can assume we’re pretty much okay. You and your husband have been together for 15 years which, I’m betting, puts him in the age range where the doctor stops saying, “You’re as healthy as a horse… see you next year”, and starts saying things like, “We may need to keep an eye on your cholesterol” or “Your blood pressure isn’t exactly high yet, but…”. For men, this signals the end of the five minute check up. From now on, it just seems like the doctor will poke around until he finds something…  which leads to the next BIG problem…

3.    POKING AROUND –Men don’t want doctors… putting their fingers… in… places. When you say “doctor’s appointment” to any man over thirty-five, he immediately thinks of that giant foam finger that says “WE’RE #1” on it, that fans wave at football games. Yeah, ladies, we understand how much more you go through than us (yet another reason men are so glad that we aren’t women!) I sat in on one of my wife’s “visits” and I was genuinely upset; the doctor was seeing places and doing things to my wife that took me a dozen dates, two bottles of wine, and three hours of begging to get to. I won’t pretend to know, but I think the difference is that women are much more internal about everything; they understand that they have to know what’s going on inside of them, and they’re more in touch with what goes on inside of them. Men are external; we don’t even like when Dr. Freeze tells us to turn our heads and cough. We don’t fully understand what’s going on inside of us, we don’t want to, and we sure as hell don’t want some doctor poking around in there to find out.

4.    CHANGE –We hate it! And doctors want us to do it. “Mr. Jones, let’s talk about your diet.” “Mr. Jones, what’s you normal exercise routine?” “Mr. Jones, we’re going to need to figure out how to suck some more fun out of your life.” OK! I get it. Yes, I know some people run every morning (I see them from my booth at McDonalds.) Yes, I know that the donut was invented by Satan. Men know these things, but we want to keep doing what we want to do. If we go to the doctor, he’ll make us change. Or worse, he’ll tell our wives on us, and from then on, we’ll have to live in the place where the donut was invented.

5.    MEDICINE –I’m pretty sure that if things don’t change soon, there will eventually be a reason for every person on the planet to be on some kind of drug. *MAN FACT*- Men need to feel strong. Drugs make us feel weak; like we aren’t in control of our bodies and need help from some pill (yeah, it’s silly, but it’s still how we feel.) Drugs are like a crutch; or a cane. And have you seen the commercials for some of this junk? Tell me again why I’d take a medicine that causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anal leakage, and possibly death… oh, that’s right… to help me sleep. You know what? How about I just take 200cc’s of Patron and take my chances with the hangover.

…And those are just the top five!

We, as men, do understand that we have to go to the doctor. We do want to stay around for our wives and our kids and grandkids. But I’m the first to admit that, if I can “accidently” forget my appointment, I probably will. As a matter of fact, I’d personally like to thank my wife for making my appointment every year for probably the last fifteen, and then CONSTANTLY reminding me for the three or four days before it actually arrives, so I don’t forget.

So Carla? Even though it’s a pain, I recommend that you keep making the appointments and keep seeing that he goes every year. The more years you make them, the more years he’ll be around to try to get out of going! Ain’t marriage grand?!

But what do you say ladies? Does your husband or partner try and get out of his doctor’s visits? Does he listen to the doctor’s advice? And why do you think men are so stubborn when it comes to medical issues…?

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few, spare moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.


  1. DawnKA

    February 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Great post, so true!! Now why don’t men ask for directions or listen to the GPS?

  2. Auntie Lisa

    February 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Right on… very enlightening. 🙂 My husband is pretty good about it, though he was 8 years late getting his first colonoscopy… but he did it and even admitted it wasn’t nearly as horrible as he’d imagined.

    My dad, on the other hand, still hasn’t had his first colonoscopy, and he’s in his mid-70s. He’s doing some catching up on other things, though… submitting gracefully to treatments for his prostrate cancer… AND he’s finally scheduled the cataract surgery! But yes, I’m sure his wife had quite a time getting him in for the check-ups and tests. I think his attitude is, “Sooner or later, something’s going to get me.” Well, we’d like it to be LATER. 🙂

  3. Will Jones

    February 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    DawnKA- Thank you so much for the compliment. And the “directions” question? I’m sure I’ll be answering that one soon enough. LOL

    Auntie Lisa- Your husband’s one of the smart ones. it’s true those things are never as bad as we think they’ll be, but we men tend to think worse case scenario (as I’m sure you know!)
    I’m glad your father’s coming around and I’m sure you’re right about his wife; she probably had a lot to do with him catching the cancer in time for treatments. He’s lucky to have her.
    It’s funny; I see to it that my wife makes her appointments, and I even try to go with her if I can, but I let mine slide. Luckily for me, she’s the same way, so we keep each other on our toes. Hopefully we keep each other around for LATER too! Thanks for reading me.

  4. Rene Syler

    February 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Will, another great, tell-it-like-it-is piece! You always make me laugh because there is so much truth and wisdom sprinkled in your humor. Like, “I sat in on one of my wife’s “visits” and I was genuinely upset; the doctor was seeing places and doing things to my wife that took me a dozen dates, two bottles of wine, and three hours of begging to get to. ” I’m in the same boat as Carla; I make the appointments for physicals for Buff and me and then I make sure he goes. I figure it’s the least I can do in exchange for what he does for me, namely keeping me out of debtors prison. Great stuff!

  5. Will Jones

    February 10, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Thanks, Rene. I try to make it to my wife’s appointments if I can, but that one was one I really could have missed! You ladies have it a lot harder than men do. I personally like to keep my doctor at arm’s length for 90% of my appointment.

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