Why We Go to the Doctor

What’s brought you to the doctor in the past year? For nearly 53 million Americans, the answer would be nothing. But, while the majority of us have gone to the doctor’s office during the past twelve months, only 30 percent of Americans were brought there by illness.

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For those who have seen a doctor in the past year, the Vitals survey reveals that getting a check-up was the number one reason.

These are some of the findings of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Vitals. In a question exploring why Americans go to the doctor, respondents were provided a list of possible reasons and were asked to choose any and all that explain why they’ve visited a doctor in the past year.

The vast majority of us (83 percent) have seen a doctor in the past year, and the number one reason was for a routine checkup (61 percent). However, 17 percent, or nearly 53 million Americans, have not been to the doctor in the past year, and have therefore not received an annual checkup.

With heart disease being the number one cause of death for both men and women in America (responsible for more than 600,000 deaths each year), according to the CDC, the heart rate and blood pressure tests administered during routine exams could potentially be lifesaving to the millions who are not receiving these tests each year.

In what is either good news for the health of the nation, or rather a sign that personal health is not a priority for many Americans, only 30 percent of us are brought to the doctor because of illness each year. Illness follows behind taking our children to the pediatrician as a reason to go to the doctor (36 percent).

Vaccinations (14 percent), injury (10 percent), and unnamed ‘other’ reasons (10 percent) are the least common reasons that American have gone to the doctor this year.

To find a doctor for any reason – a check-up, treatment for an illness, or to take your child for care – use the Vitals Doctor Finder (www.vitals.com) to find the right specialist for you.