Our patients with high deductible insurance, or Co pays are more likely to either be very compliant with treatment to reduce expenses, or impossible to get in, because they don't want to pa. Iy for it. The medicaid patients get free visits and free medication, so they will come in for EVERYTHING. "I fell and hurt my leg yesterday"(small bruise on shin). They'll come in for mild colds (viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics, people!). And if they can't get in to see us for a cough that started this morning, they'll go to the ER.
All of us share six basic human needs: certainty, uncertainty/variety, significance, love/connection, growth, and contribution. If something we do meets at least three of these needs at a high level, it can potentially become addictive. It doesn't take much imagination to realize that a visit to the doctor can potentially meet at least three of these needs, depending on the individual (e.G., the feeling of significance through personal attention, the feeling of uncertainty — not knowing what the doctor might tell you is wrong, the feeling of connection with another human being — if something IS wrong, there are plenty of other people out there who have the same ailment or will provide you with sympathy).
The people with medical insurance are frequenting the doctor's office for every little thing. They have no ability to think for themselves on simple ailments that years ago were able to be remendied at home. They also want the magic pill with the instant cure for things a pill won't cure in the first place. Some things just have to run their course but they don't have patience, patients with no patience. Then you have the lonely patients just needing to talk to someone and imagine an illness just to make appointments. Unfortunately doctors will continue to humor these patients as often as they want to be seen. Wondering why people can't afford health insurance? Ask the patients that are over using it and raising the rates.
Yes, I do believe that people visit the doctor too much. Oftentimes, people will go to the doctor for the slightest sniffle simply because their health insurance allows them to. This crowds the doctor's schedule and makes it difficult to dedicate the time necessary for people that really are sick. People should refrain from going to the doctor's office for minor colds and simple headaches. Many times a quick call to the doctor's office is all that's necessary to diagnose your minor ailment and call in a prescription, keeping the waiting room clear for those that really need it.
I think if you find something painful, uncomfortable, unbearable etc or even small things, that you should be able to go to the doctor when you want, without feeling guilty that you are wasting their time or that they are too busy. It is bad for doctors or nurses to tell you not to come too often as it makes the patient feel hopeless and like they have to deal with these stresses by themselves when it is a doctor's job to help them.
I feel that people do not visit the doctor enough these days. In years past it seemed not such a chore for one to see the doctor as they should. Times have changed and too often a visit to the doctor is far more stressful than it used to be. The wait alone is more than a patient wants to deal with.
Some people do go to the doctor too much, but I think a lot of people don't go enough, usually because medical care is too expensive. As long as we cruelly deny human beings access to medical care we will continue to have this problem. We can do a lot better.
No, people don't visit the doctor more than necessary. The way I see it, it's just the opposite. Most people I know visit their doctor once a year, which is probably less than what is necessary. Some people I know visit their doctor even less than once a year. There are, I'm sure, people who visit a lot more often than once a year, but those people are far and few.