How to Be Less Anxious About a Doctor's Appointment

By Erica Patino
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
April 24, 2023

It’s safe to say that for most of us, going to a healthcare provider is not ranked highly on our list of favorite activities. From scheduling them to actually going, and then doing any necessary follow-ups, doctor’s appointments can cause feelings of anxiety and apprehension, not to mention fear and confusion.

Why Some Don’t Like Going to the Doctor

Where to begin? There are many reasons why some people don’t like going to the doctor. “The medical system can be frightening,” says Diane Solomon, Ph.D., a psychiatric nurse practitioner based in Portland, Oregon. “I don't know how anyone without a degree in healthcare could know how to navigate this system effectively.”

Between confusing medical bills and insurance plans and fragmented care that often pushes us to see several physicians across multiple practices, it’s easy to feel discouraged. In addition to feeling intimidated by the healthcare system, many of us may struggle to understand what our providers are saying (hello, medical jargon) or what actionable steps we need to take once we leave an appointment.