Millennials Dodge the Doctor Due to High Costs and Inconvenience

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  From the Kombucha craze to hot yoga workouts, it’s no doubt millennials are very conscious of their health. Yet doctors say most millennials do not go to a yearly checkup.

Dr. Ojash Raval, a Unity Point Physician D.O. said millennials only come to the doctor when they need to. The mentality being if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. But he said the main reason being the high cost of healthcare.

“Last time I’ve been to the doctor is probably around six years ago,” 26-year-old Nick Statsick said. “I haven’t been to a doctor because it’s expensive on one part and I have insurance provided by my employer but it’s so complicated to deal with that I haven’t really gone through the details, so it’s pretty much easier just to let it go.”

Dr. Raval said one of the issues with health care is the unknown cost of evaluations such as blood tests, sometimes you don’t know how much something is going to cost until after the fact.

He said the millennial group is in a generally healthy spectrum of life, and that this generation has a mentality of healthy living with most people regularly using the gym and eating clean.

However, the American Psychological Association claims millennials are the most stressed-out generation. Stress can impact your health and it’s another reason why Dr. Raval recommends annual visits to the doctor.

“That’s where you get your, hey how is your mental health doing? How are your lipid panels doing? How is your overall well-being? Are there concerns that you’re festering but you’re just burying them down and living your life in a fairly normal way and that’s the place to discuss it.” Dr. Raval said.

Another big reason millennials dodge the doctor is the inconvenience of going into a doctor’s office and the convenience of the internet.

“Usually I’d try to find out all the resources I have online and I’d kind of give myself my own diagnosis and kind of wait it out. Web M.D., sometimes reddit is helpful, I feel like there’s a lot of resources out there so I use those as much as I can rather than spending a ton of money on something that I may or may not need,” Statsick said.

Dr. Raval said this generation relies on peer feedback rather than authoritarian feedback because it’s free and easily accessible. But he said having an established relationship with your doctor allows your healthcare to be trending so that you can see how you are doing in the long term. Whether it’s your current wellbeing or lab work, doctors make sure you don’t have any conditions creeping up on you.

“Furthermore it’s where you get your immunizations, it’s where you get flu shots, it’s where you get just your general care done, also in times of sickness often times if you call your regular doctor and say hey I’m not feeling great, can you get me in, if you have a regular doctor often times we’ll get you right in the door,” Dr. Raval said.

A big way to get millennials to the doctor is by making the doctor convenient, Unity Point opens their doors at 7:30 a.m. so people are able to get into the doctor before work.

There is also the UnityPoint Virtual App where you can connect with a doctor at any hour any day over an online video.

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