Because those readers of my blog may not be part of my newsletter following, I am sharing this article with both audiences this week.


Have you been to your family doctor’s office lately? Look around the waiting room and see who is seated there. You’ll likely find women, women with children, and the occasional man, usually accompanied by his wife, ensuring he doesn’t leave before seeing the doctor. It’s a well-known fact that men and doctors are like oil and water—they don’t mix well.

Statistics show that over 60% of men don’t regularly see a doctor, going only when they are seriously ill. But strangely enough, this lack of taking preventative measures does not come into play in other areas of their lives. For example, men have the greatest respect for all vehicles and machinery, maintaining them meticulously. They change the oil on time and investigate any unusual noises promptly, either by themselves or with a mechanic’s help. So why don’t men give the same attention and care to their own bodies?

The reasons are often complex, but here are some common ones:

Self-healing belief: Many men truly believe their condition will improve on its own.

Fear of bad news: They worry about receiving a bad diagnosis and prefer not to know.

Superhero syndrome: Men often see themselves as perpetually strong and capable of handling anything. To them, sickness equates to weakness.

Uncomfortable topics: Some health issues are uncomfortable to discuss, even with a healthcare provider.

Lifestyle changes: Men often resist being told to change their diet, stop smoking, or drink less.

Time management: They feel they are too busy, or the appointment times don’t fit conveniently into their schedules.

Discomfort with tests: Men might have a lower threshold for pain. Ask a man about passing kidney stones, and he will likely tell you that the pain far exceeds childbirth pain, although it’s uncertain how they know this.

Embarrassment: Certain exams, such as prostate checks, make men uncomfortable.

Now, I’ve experienced many, “I’m not going to see no damn doctor” situations with Chuck. For most of his injuries, I have cleaned and bandaged his wounds, all the while praying no infection would set in. But there comes a time when you just have to step in and get your guy to see a doctor. How do you lead this stubborn mule to water AND make him drink?

Here are some suggestions from the experts:

Discuss the need for an appointment: Give him time to think about it.

Express your concern: Explain that you love him and are concerned about his health.

Understand his hesitations: Learn why he’s hesitant.

Make the appointment: Then tell him the time.

Accompany him: Go with him to the appointment.

And now, Lynda’s suggestions:

Don’t Google symptoms: Worst-case scenarios are always outlined in graphic detail and can scare the hell out of anyone.

Avoid doctor-type advice from family or friends: Need I say more?

Enlist help: Get a family member or friend who your guy trusts to persuade him to see a doctor. My go-to person is our son, Steven.

Tell a story: Sometimes telling a ridiculous, exaggerated story can get the point across effectively.

A situation came up a few weeks ago, when it was necessary for me to put the tell a story point, into action.

While he was relaxing in his comfy chair and definitely not expecting an ambush, I said to Chuck, “Let me tell you a story about a stubborn old man and his amazingly wonderful wife. I’ll name them Chuck and Lynda.”

Chuck was not amused. He gave me ‘the look’, but that didn’t faze me. I simply carried on.

Once upon a time, in the quaint little village of Mando-lando, there lived a man named Chuck. Chuck was like all the other males in the community: he prided himself on his resilience, his DIY skills involving duct tape, and his uncanny ability to avoid doctors like they were door-to-door salesmen.

At this point, Chuck squirmed in his seat. The thought crossed his mind to make a quick exit, but I was on a roll, and he was, after all, a little curious about what dumb stuff I would make up, so he stayed, and the story continued.

One morning, Chuck woke up feeling a bit off. His stomach was doing somersaults, and he had a persistent headache that felt like a jackhammer was drilling into his skull. But did he consider going to see a doctor? Of course not.

Instead, he muttered, “Just a little bug. I’ll shake it off.”

His wife, Lynda, was used to this routine. She had seen Chuck hobble around on a sprained ankle for a week before finally admitting that, yes, maybe it did hurt quite a bit. So, when she saw Chuck clutching his stomach, she knew it was time to intervene.

“Chuck, why don’t you go see Dr. Knowitall?” she suggested gently.

“I don’t need a doctor. It’s just indigestion. I’ll drink some ginger ale, burp it out, and I’ll be fine,” Chuck declared in a no-nonsense tone.

Lynda sighed and went about her day, knowing that pushing Chuck would only make him dig his heels in deeper. But she was concerned, so she decided to enlist the help of their son, Steven, who had a knack for getting through to his dad. Later that day, Steven arrived with a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and a look of determination.

“Hey Dad, how’s it going?” he asked, plopping down on the couch.

“Been better,” Chuck admitted, wincing as he sat down.

“Take a tablespoon of this pink stuff,” Steven offered. “You know, going to a doctor doesn’t make you look weak, Dad.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Chuck scoffed, “I won’t go because there’s nothing wrong with me that a little rest won’t fix, and besides, doctors just keep looking until they find something.”

Chuck did, however, take the medicine.

“Right,” said Steven, rolling his eyes. “But remember that time you tried to ‘rest’ your way out of appendicitis?”

Chuck groaned. “Yeah, yeah, that was different. This is just a stomach bug.”

Steven decided to switch tactics. “Alright, how about this? If you go see Dr. Knowitall, I’ll fix those outside steps by the patio this weekend.”

Now this was a tempting offer as Chuck had wanted that job done for over a year. And then there was the other bonus—if he saw the doctor, the wife would be off his case.

“OK, I’ll go,” he reluctantly said.

The next day, Chuck, accompanied by Steven, begrudgingly made his way to Dr. Knowitall’s office. After a thorough check-up, the verdict was in. No major operation was required, no amputations needed, no series of tests were necessary, it was just a nasty case of food poisoning.

“You’ll be fine with some rest and medication,” was the doctor’s advice.

Chuck felt a mix of relief and embarrassment. He had been so convinced it was nothing, yet he had feared the worst.

When he emerged from the office, Steven was anxiously waiting. “So?”

“Food poisoning,” Chuck muttered.

“Now aren’t you glad you went to the doctor?” Steven said. “That prescription will have you feeling better in no time. Oh, and by the way, I’ll be over on Saturday to fix those steps.”

As the weeks went by, Chuck started to realize that visiting the doctor wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was a lot like asking for directions—something he also avoided unless absolutely necessary.

“And that is the end of the tale of the caring, loving, totally awesome wife and her stubborn, yet forever grateful husband,” I concluded.

“That’s a stupid story that never happened,” replied Chuck in a very annoyed voice.

But I didn’t care if it was stupid or not, it got my point across. The next day, he and Steven did see the doctor.

Although I have posted this video in the past, it just seems a great way to end this article. Enjoy.