Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers share their thoughts on stories about why people avoid the doctor, sober fitness buddies, and more.

Ducking the Doctor

Can’t we have a single-payer health care system (“Why Do We Avoid the Doctor?” December 10)? If the number one reason that people avoid going to the doctor is “cost and hassle,” which means insurance and access, why are we not making universal health care a reality? I have had employer insurance, exchange insurance as an HMO and as a PPO, and Medicaid. Every change has meant different doctors, different paperwork, and often hours and hours on the phone trying to get companies to stop billing me for canceled insurance. My present insurance does not apply to Massachusetts, and I can’t apply for Massachusetts insurance until the other is officially “over” at the end of this month. That’s why I don’t go to the doctor for my knee pain!

M. Lise Hildebrandt / Brookline

Another reason people avoid doctors is denial — a powerful defense mechanism. It is heartbreaking for me and other physicians to diagnose cancer when a patient presents with signs and symptoms that have been obvious for months, but now it’s too late to do anything.


Owen Reynolds, MD / Haverhill

Fit and Sober

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Great one, Steve [Annear] (“Working Out a Way to Recovery,” December 10). I remember hitting the gym with “Jim” as well. Glad you’re still at it.

Billingsly posted on

Continuing On

Very well put (“#MeToo and the End of He Said/She Said,” December 10, by Leigh Gilmore). This will not go away. There are many women who are simmering with past embarrassment turned to anger.

Madilyn H. Caggiano / Billerica

Write to or The Globe Magazine/Comments, 1 Exchange Place, Suite 201, Boston, MA 02109-2132. Comments are subject to editing.