Zocdoc Men's Health Report Reveals Disconnect Between Healthcare Beliefs & Behavior

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 2:30 AM HST

While 4 in 5 men agree exams contribute to longer life, 1 in 4 unlikely to proactively visit their doctor

NEW YORK, June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of Men's Health Month, Zocdoc, the leading healthcare marketplace that makes it easy for people to find and book in-person or virtual care across +200 specialties and +12k insurance plans, today announces the findings of its 2023 Men's Health Report, which includes the results of a new nationwide survey of over 1,000 U.S. men, as well as proprietary insights from Zocdoc booking behavior data.

Zocdoc Men’s Health Report Reveals Disconnect Between Healthcare Beliefs & Behavior
Zocdoc Men’s Health Report Reveals Disconnect Between Healthcare Beliefs & Behavior(PRNewswire)

As research shows that men's health generally lags behind women's, and men only comprise 34% of its appointment bookings, Zocdoc set out to determine the extent of men's aversion to the doctor, and more importantly, their most common barriers to healthcare.

Appointment Aversions
The new survey findings underscore men's historical healthcare aversions: 1 in 4 say they would rather change a flat tire than visit the doctor, while 1 in 3 would rather clean the entire house. And another 1 in 4 men say they are unlikely to proactively visit the doctor altogether.

Yet, according to the same survey, health ranks as men's No. 2 priority in life, second only to family — and 4 out of 5 men say that regular exams contribute to a longer and healthier life.

So What's Getting in the Way?
According to the new data, much of it comes down to booking barriers. In fact, a third of men consider the process of booking an appointment more tedious than actually attending the appointment, while another third say booking and attending are equally tedious. Difficulty in finding in-network doctors was identified as another significant obstacle by 1 in 5 men.

Additionally, the insights suggest that men have a large opportunity to more meaningfully take their health into their own hands. According to the survey, 3 in 10 men have someone else book their health appointments. Within Zocdoc bookings, 81% of appointments booked on men's behalf are made by women.

Changing Course
For healthcare providers, there are several important takeaways from these findings. Almost 1 in 3 men would look for an alternative doctor if they couldn't get an appointment within one week, emphasizing the need for swift access to care. And according to the survey, a direct reminder from their healthcare provider is the most effective way to prompt men to book an appointment.

In addition, punctuality, clear communication, and a good rapport were identified as the top three traits men are looking for in their healthcare providers. Men also displayed a preference for male providers and are more likely to schedule near-term appointments than women, according to Zocdoc booking data.

Healthcare Highlights
Finally, among those men who are visiting the doctor, more of them are seeking therapy. Bookings related to mental health rose notably from 2022 to 2023: Zocdoc booking data shows a 172% increase in psychotherapy bookings overall, with a 60% increase in first-time psychotherapy visits.

Men's most-booked healthcare appointment reasons in the last year include annual physical, dermatology consultation, illness, and dental cleaning or consultation.

The full findings of the national survey and Zocdoc booking analysis follow:

Survey Results

Which of the following, if any, would you rather do than visit the doctor? Select all that apply

  • Clean the entire house: 35.09%
  • Change a flat tire: 24.83%
  • File my taxes: 21.04%
  • Get pulled over by a cop: 11.86%
  • None of these: 41.97%

How likely are you, if at all, to proactively see the doctor for preventive care (as opposed to only seeing the doctor when sick, injured or experiencing a health issue)?

  • Very likely to proactively see the doctor: 39.58%
  • Somewhat likely to proactively see the doctor: 34.40%
  • Somewhat unlikely to proactively see the doctor: 16.55%
  • Very unlikely to proactively see the doctor: 9.47%

Which, if either, is more tedious to you - booking the doctor, or going to the doctor?

  • Booking a doctor appointment is more tedious: 32.60%
  • Going to the booked doctor appointment is more tedious: 31.21%
  • N/A - They're equally tedious: 30.81%
  • N/A; I have never booked a doctors appointment: 3.29%
  • N/A; I have never attended a doctors appointment: 2.09%

What, if anything, are your most common barriers/pain points to scheduling a doctor's appointment? (Select up to 3)

  • Feel anxious or nervous when I visit the doctor: 25.52%
  • Don't want to pay the costs associated with seeing the doctor: 23.13%
  • Unable to get into the doctor I want quickly: 22.93%
  • Takes too much time out of my busy schedule: 21.64%
  • Hate doing the paperwork that comes with every appointment: 21.34%
  • Difficulty finding a doctor who is in-network with my insurance provider: 19.34%
  • Difficulty finding/comparing doctors specific to my needs or preferences: 17.15%
  • Poor healthcare experiences in the past: 13.86%
  • Other, please specify: 1.20%
  • N/A: I never find it difficult to book or attend an appointment: 21.24%

If you've ever avoided seeking medical care for a health issue, what is the reason? Select all that apply

  • Belief an issue will resolve itself on its own in time: 27.62%
  • Healthcare cost concerns: 26.92%
  • Fear of bad news/a negative diagnosis: 24.13%
  • I've never avoided seeking medical care for a health issue: 20.94%
  • Difficulty in finding a doctor/scheduling a visit: 17.75%
  • Lack of trust in healthcare providers: 17.55%
  • Embarrassment or shame: 14.56%
  • Other (please specify): 1.69%

Which of the following, if any, is most likely to prompt you to go to the doctor for a check-up? Select one

  • A reminder/notification from your healthcare provider: 27.32%
  • Worsening effects from a health condition or ailment: 25.52%
  • Concerns about overall health and wellbeing: 15.05%
  • A demand from a spouse/partner: 11.57%
  • A request or reminder from a loved one: 10.67%
  • The realization that you're overdue for a visit: 3.89%
  • None of these: 5.98%

Who books the majority of your doctor appointments?

  • Myself: 69.86%
  • My spouse/partner: 11.51%
  • My parent(s): 6.31%
  • Another family member: 4.48%
  • An assistant: 4.18%
  • N/A: 3.26%
  • Other, please specify: 0.41%

Which of the following, if any, are the highest priority to you personally? Select up to 3

  • My family: 70.19%
  • My health: 57.93%
  • My finances: 40.88%
  • My job: 26.42%
  • My friends: 23.73%
  • My hobbies: 16.85%
  • None of these: 2.89%

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Regular doctors exams help contribute to a longer, healthier life for the average person

  • Strongly agree: 45.86%
  • Somewhat agree: 32.40%
  • Neither agree nor disagree: 16.55%
  • Somewhat disagree: 2.79%
  • Strongly disagree: 2.39%

What, if anything, is most important to you in your appointment experience? (Select 1)

  • Short wait/doctor punctuality: 18.02%
  • Clear communication: 17.92%
  • Good rapport with my physician: 17.52%
  • Ability to get in fast: 16.60%
  • Thoroughness/attention to detail: 16.50%
  • Friendly bedside manner: 8.86%
  • Nothing in particular: 3.87%
  • Other, please specify: 0.71%

Appointment availability with specific doctors can sometimes be limited, making it difficult to schedule an appointment promptly. What's the longest you would wait to get in for a doctor's appointment before finding an alternate?

  • One week or less: 29.21%
  • Over a week, up to 2 weeks: 30.51%
  • Over 2 weeks, up to 3 weeks: 14.76%
  • Over 3 weeks, up to 4 weeks: 6.28%
  • Over a month if needed: 19.24%

Zocdoc Booking Insights

According to an analysis of Zocdoc bookings between spring 2022 and spring 2023:

Men book are less likely to book care than women

  • 66% of bookers were female and 34% were male.
  • Women on average made ~10% more appointments than men.

Men have more appointments booked on their behalf

  • 10% of men's appointments were booked on their behalf.  Of that 10%, 81% were booked by a woman.
  • In contrast, only 6% of women's appointments were booked on their behalf, and 73% of those were booked by a woman.

Most male bookings are with male providers

  • 60% of male bookings are with male providers, while 64% of female bookings are with female providers.
  • Both men and women increasingly book with male providers as they age

Men prefer more near-term appointments

  • 35% of bookings made by men happen within 48 hours
  • 29% of bookings made by women happen within 48 hours

Men's mental health-related bookings rose notably

  • Psychotherapy (172%)
  • Bipolar Disorder (114%)
  • Psychotherapy Intake/Initial Visit (60%)
  • Hyperactive Disorder (53%)
  • Anxiety (52%)

Men's most-booked visit reasons:

  • Annual Physical
  • Dermatology Consultation
  • Illness
  • Dental Cleaning
  • Dental Consultation

Survey Methodology
Zocdoc commissioned Censuswide to collect this data via an online survey of 1,003 U.S. men aged 16+. The survey was fielded May 12 to May 15, 2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. The confidence interval is approximately +/-3.09%.

About Zocdoc
Zocdoc is the leading healthcare marketplace that helps every patient find and book every type of care. Each month, millions of patients search Zocdoc's marketplace, via Zocdoc.com or the free Zocdoc app, to find in-network doctors, see their real-time availability, and instantly book in-person or virtual appointments, and more. With a mission to give power to the patient, Zocdoc delivers the seamless healthcare experience patients expect and deserve.

Zocdoc contact:
Jessica Aptman


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