It’s often encouraged that people see the doctor once a year for an annual physical. Individuals with a medical condition are supposed to see a doctor more often. However, recent data suggest that most patients aren’t seeing a doctor when they should. According to NORC, almost half of Americans skip doctors’ appointments for medical tests or don’t go to a doctor when they’re sick, and there are several possible reasons for this.

Wait Times

Americans are consistently crunched for time. As society attempts to be more productive than ever before, it leaves less time for Americans to head to the doctor. Wait times in the waiting room aren’t the only culprit. According to Forbes, the average time to make a doctor’s appointment in a major city is now 24 days, an increase of 30% compared to three years ago.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies continue to increase in popularity. Most patients that can’t get into a doctor are quick to drink herbal teas or take detoxifying baths instead of waiting to see their physician. Some people prefer herbal remedies in place of Western medicine today.

General Health

The majority people know they should head to the doctor when they aren’t feeling well. However, most people are unaware of the importance of going to the doctor for a yearly checkup. Preventative care is equally important, but those that are healthy and rarely get sick often forget this important fact. Individuals can benefit from learning about their risk factors, such as smoking, and how preventative care can help them.

Lack of Resources

When individuals lack resources, they might be unable to go to a doctor or become embarrassed asking for help. Individuals on state or government medical insurance may feel bad about their financial situation. Those without a car may not want to ask other people to take them places or may not have anyone to ask. People who do not have medical insurance often worry about the cost of medical care and believe that they can’t receive care if they don’t have insurance.

Fewer Americans now choose to see the doctor when they are sick compared to years ago. This is due to a longer wait time, the belief in effective herbal remedies or that seeing a physician is unnecessary, or a lack of resources. Browse the rest of the site to learn more about how you can help patients today.