60% of Americans fear visiting a doctor

HOUSTON - Like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz, a new survey found 6 in 10 Americans are afraid to see the doctor. That fear stems from actually finding out what the diagnosis is going to be and also what the bill might add up being.

Shane Magee, a doctor with Kasey-Sebold, says, "Usually when people are afraid of a diagnosis, the cost is not as big of a barrier as the diagnosis is."

The survey, also, found people would take almost a year before visiting a doctor to treat whatever ailment is bothering them, but that "ignorance is bliss" approach can have dire consequences.

Dr. Magee says, "If you catch things early, a lot of cancers, for instance, are treatable. Hypertension is treatable and you can live, many times, a very healthy, normal life." He does agree that many patients will not even bother seeing a doctor because the insurance company they have will pay for a visit but not the medication to treat the ailment, so often times there's a why bother approach.

The survey did find that Americans are least likely to seek care for general aches and pains or a sprain, with insomnia, ringing ears and stiffness also making the list of most-ignored concerns.

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