The second Tuesday of June is designated in the US as National Call Your Doctor Day, which falls on June 9 this year. The day was established by an organization focusing on women’s health, Bright Pink: https://brightpink.org/
The original idea behind the day is to remind young women to schedule an annual Well Women Exam, which screens for conditions like breast and ovarian cancer and other conditions specific to women.
This day reminds us all, whoever we are, that it is always important to get a health check-up with our doctor at least once a year to make sure we stay in optimum health and get preventative treatment for any conditions.
According to a 2015 survey by ZocDoc, 80% of Americans delay or forgo preventative care. The number increases to 93% when surveying Millennials.
There is a general assumption that women are more ready to consult with their doctors than men and this has been backed up by numerous studies and surveys. It has been found that overall women are roughly 33% more likely to visit a doctor compared to men, even excluding pregnancy-related visits. When looking at annual health check-ups and preventative services, women are 100% more likely than men to schedule and follow-through with those types of appointments.
Studies suggest that the reason behind this is that men associate this behavior with weakness or a lack of masculinity. What makes this attitude all the more concerning, is that research has shown that men are actually more prone to serious conditions, such as cancer.
National Call Your Doctor Day should be one of the most important days in our calendars. By scheduling your annual check-up with your doctor and keeping it, you are making your health a priority. It only takes a few minutes to commit to this one annual exam.
Given the current situation with COVID-19, we might not be able to visit our doctors in person right now. But thanks to technology, most of us are fortunate enough to be able to partake in online consultations. There is a perception among some people right now that all medical resources and energy are being focused on dealing with the pandemic and traditional healthcare needs must be put on pause. It’s certainly true that many health organizations are making it one of their main priorities both for treatment and research, but that does not mean patients should let less urgent health concerns fall by the wayside.
On June 9 this year, make a note to call or email your doctor to schedule an online or in-person appointment for your annual check-up. Also encourage your family and friends to do the same thing by using #CallYourDoctorDay on social media.