Mens health urgent care

Hey Guys, It's Time to Go to the Doctor

Apr 01, 2024 Family Medicine Share:

If you’re a man, would you rather clean the bathroom than go to the doctor? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a recent survey, nearly 75% of men would rather do household chores than go to the doctor. And only 1 in 5 men get annual physicals.1

But when prevention is key to living your best, healthiest life, these statistics are concerning. Learn why regular checkups are important for men of all ages, even if you feel like you’re already pretty healthy.

Heart Health

Everyone would say they want to have a healthy heart. But do you really know what heart health means? A healthy heart functions both effectively and efficiently to pump blood throughout your body, providing oxygen and nutrients to your body’s tissues and removing waste products.

Heart disease hinders the ability of your heart to perform any or all of these functions. Heart diseases include a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart valve issues, and heart failure. But heart diseases don’t develop overnight. While heart disease can come on suddenly, most heart diseases develop over years - or even decades.

The early stages of heart disease rarely have noticeable symptoms. In fact, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are often referred to as “silent killers”. Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling, or heart palpitations typically indicate more advanced heart disease.

Fortunately, your primary care doctor can monitor changes in your heart health over time. Through regular blood pressure screenings, lab work, and physical exams, your doctor can help identify early risk factors for heart disease. Preventive care such as lifestyle changes or medication can help slow or reverse the progression of heart disease.

Skin Health

In most cases, men don’t care for their skin in the same way that women do. While women may have a ten-step skincare routine, men may only wash their face after a workout or after doing dirty work outside. Women may apply sunscreen every day, but men may only think about sunscreen when they’re at the beach or pool. Women are also more likely to visit the dermatologist or seek treatment for skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, and skin cancer.

But both men and women have skin, and everyone - regardless of gender - needs to care for their skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer before they turn 70. But men of all ages need to pay careful attention: men under 50 have a higher probability of developing skin cancer than any other type of cancer (except for colorectal cancer). And after age 50, many more men develop skin cancer than women.2

Everyone needs to be aware of the ABCs of skin cancer. Pay attention to spots that have any of the following features:

  • Asymmetry: Moles or spots should be perfectly symmetrical, and most common moles are either round or oval-shaped.
  • Borders: Moles or spots should have well-defined, smooth borders. Abnormal borders are uneven, poorly defined, jagged, or scallop-shaped.
  • Color: Moles and spots should be consistently colored; most normal moles are a single shade of brown. Be aware of spots that are more than one color or that are darker than your other moles.
  • Diameter: Moles larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) are considered abnormal and should be examined.
  • Evolving: Moles that change size, shape, or color - or appear different from your other moles - are considered abnormal.

Early detection and prevention are key. If you’ve never been to a dermatologist, now’s the time. Your dermatologist can perform a full-body skin exam to look for any suspicious spots. Your dermatologist will also check places that you can’t see, such as your back and scalp. If you don’t have a history of skin cancer, the exam is usually brief and painless.

If your dermatologist does find anything concerning, they can perform a biopsy while you’re there in the office. The dermatologist will then examine the biopsy for signs of cancer. If cancer is detected, your dermatologist will let you know and explain your treatment options. When detected early, skin cancer has a 99% survival rate.

Injury Prevention

Chances are good that you’re not quite as active as you used to be. But “weekend warrior” injuries most commonly occur from sporadic, high-intensity bursts of activity: in other words, participating in physical activity that your body isn’t accustomed to.

Common weekend warrior injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Tendinitis
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries

There's nothing wrong with playing or working on the weekends. But you can minimize your risk of injury through prevention. One of the hardest tips? Don’t show off. If it’s been a few months (or years) since you’ve played basketball, ease back in: you don’t need to go at top speed or full intensity. You can practice moderation and still have a great time. You should also ask for help if you need it. There’s no need to haul every single bag of mulch by yourself; ask a friend for help and treat them to lunch instead.

No matter what activity you’re participating in, make sure to warm up beforehand and stretch afterward. Always wear proper safety gear, including helmets, protective eyewear, mouth guards, and gloves. Finally, staying active through regular cardiovascular exercise and weight training can help minimize your risk of injury.

If you do get injured, don’t try to power through the pain. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, so pay attention: pain that is persistent or accompanied by swelling and other signs of inflammation should be checked out by your urgent care doctor. Most weekend warrior injuries can be easily treated at an urgent care clinic near you.

Mental Health

Mental health is health, too, and stress can take its toll on you. Life is hard: life changes, work stress, and family pressures can all impact your mental health. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues impact men as well as women, but social norms can make it more challenging for men to reach out and ask for help.

One common misconception about depression is that you need to be crying all the time to be depressed. But the symptoms of depression are more complex than just tears. While you may feel overwhelming feelings of sadness or hopelessness, other symptoms may include:

  • Increased irritability or anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy

Similarly, anxiety may include worry or nervousness, but it can also have other symptoms. Symptoms of anxiety can include irritability, anger, and sleep disturbances. You may also have physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, excessive sweating, or gastrointestinal issues.

Everyone gets sad or worried, but if any of the above symptoms are present for more than two weeks, it’s worth it to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. (If you don’t have a primary care doctor, an urgent care doctor can also help.) Providers at MedHelp take a holistic approach to caring for your mental health and can help you determine the best strategies to get you feeling like yourself again.

You’re strong and capable, but you don’t have to navigate your health on your own. Your primary care doctor is your partner in health: they can make sure you get the screenings you need, monitor changes in your health, and help you live your healthiest life. If it’s been a while since your last checkup, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor today.

And if you don’t have a primary care doctor, MedHelp makes it easy to find a primary care doctor you can trust. Providers at all Birmingham MedHelp locations are accepting new patients. Call a clinic near you and we can help you find a primary care doctor that fits your schedule and meets your needs.

Healthy Guys Go to the Doctor

Don't wait until your sick to go to the doctor: primary care checkups are key to living your healthiest life. Schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor today. And if you need a primary care doctor, providers at all MedHelp locations in Birmingham are accepting new patients. 


1 Cleveland Clinic Survey: Men will do Almost Anything to Avoid Going to the Doctor: The Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 10 March 2024.

2 Skin Cancer Facts and Statistics: The Skin Cancer Foundation. Accessed 10 March 2024.