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Every once in a while I get hit with a client who just doesn’t see the value in seeing a doctor. The old “if it ain’t broke” attitude. Why see a doctor if you aren’t sick? According to CNN.com 43% of men get annual physicals. I’m thinking if half that many do it would be amazing.

I recently worked with a guy who had colon cancer 13 years ago. He had 18 inches of his colon removed, did chemo and radiation, and was, according to him, pronounced cured. I asked him when his last colonoscopy was and he said “13 years ago”. I asked him what kind of followup he had done post cancer treatment and he said “none”. I asked him when he last saw a doctor for anything and he said “13 years ago”. We went our separate ways at that point, not exactly seeing eye to eye.

That was certainly the most outrageous case of “you just can’t fix stupid” that I’ve run into, but it is more common than the 43% CNN suggestion would lead me to believe. I’ve talked to people that have had heart attacks and bypass surgery and never followed up on it. These guys get their cars tuned up but think the driver is bomb proof.

I recently called a client who paid some pretty hefty rates on his life insurance because on the insurance exam his total cholesterol was 313. Assuming that it would be down substantially and we could get him better rates, I called on his first anniversary of the policy and asked how he was doing with his cholesterol. Well, he had never talked to a doctor about it and never had it checked again.

This could be the real reason women live longer than men and get better life insurance rates. They take health seriously. They get mammograms and pap smears and physicals and when they have a health problem, they are prudent with the treatment and ongoing followup.

Bottom line. I think boy children should be implanted with some alarm thing that starts going off annually at age 45. Only way to get it turned off is with an annual physical. Maybe then we could actually get up to 43% or 50%. The rest of them would probably find a way to disarm it with a hammer or something. People who take care of themselves live longer and pay lower rates for their life insurance.