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September 4, 2019/News Releases

Cleveland Clinic Survey: Men will do Almost Anything to Avoid Going to the Doctor

National MENtion It® campaign examines barriers that stop men from seeking care

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Life saving advice from an expert

A new national survey by Cleveland Clinic reveals why a lot of men avoid going to the doctor and why some men hold back on certain issues once they’re at the doctor’s office.

In an online survey among approximately 1,174 U.S. males 18 years or older, Cleveland Clinic found that 72 percent of men would rather do household chores, like cleaning the bathroom or mowing the lawn, than go to the doctor. Even for the men who take their health more seriously, some are holding back: 20 percent of men admit they have not been completely honest with their doctor before.

The survey was issued as part of Cleveland Clinic’s fourth annual educational campaign, “MENtion It®,” which aims to address the fact that men often do not “MENtion” health issues or take steps to prevent them. This year, Cleveland Clinic set out to gauge where taking care of their health fell as a priority for men. Only half (50 percent) of men surveyed said that they consider getting their annual check-up a regular part of taking care of themselves.

“Men tend to be stubborn about a lot of things, with taking care of their health usually near the top of the list,” said Eric Klein, M.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute. “Our hope with this campaign is that by shedding a little light on what barriers are keeping men from engaging in preventative care, we can then work to motivate them to take their health more seriously.”

Eric Klein, M.D.

Key survey findings:

  • 77 percent of men who are married or in a domestic partnership would rather go shopping with their wife or significant other than go to the doctor.
  • Among the 20 percent of men who have not been completely honest with their doctor in the past, the top reasons why include:
    • they were embarrassed (46 percent)
    • they didn’t want to hear that they needed to change their diet/lifestyle (36 percent)
    • they knew something was wrong but weren’t ready to face the diagnosis and/or would rather not know if they have any health issues (37 percent)
  • 41 percent of men were told as children that men don’t complain about health issues
  • 82 percent of men try to stay healthy to live longer for friends and family who rely on them, yet only 50 percent engage in preventative care

“Another key finding was that 61 percent of men said they would be more likely to go to their annual check-up if seeing the doctor was more convenient for them,” said Dr. Klein. “Here at Cleveland Clinic we are constantly thinking of ways to make it easier for men to get ‘in the door’ – for example, by offering virtual visits, scheduling appointments outside of work hours, and participating in local health screening events. It’s time to get rid of the stigma that a man isn’t allowed to show weakness by admitting something might be wrong – it could save his life.”

Download the full MENtion It® Survey results.

Visit www.clevelandclinic.org/MENtionIt for more information about men’s health and important preventive steps every man can take.


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Results of an online survey conducted among a national probability sample consisting of 1,174 American males 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. The total sample data is nationally representative regarding age, gender, ethnicity and educational attainment. The online surveys were conducted by YouGov and completed between April 9-11, 2019. The margin of error (MOE) for the total sample of each survey at the 95% confidence level is +/- 2.86 percentage points.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

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