Lonna and Melissa's comments definitely hit home for me.
I've saved the lives of heart attack victims. I've diagnosed and treated patients and improved their lives through modern medical technology. I've convinced patients to change their lifestyles, to give up meat, to quit smoking, to drink less, to take their medicines, to exercise, and so on.
But, what I cannot do is get my 51 year-old father to go to a doctor. He prides himself that he hasn't had a full physical exam since 1974, the year he and my mother married, the year before I was born. He's been to a doctor a handful of times, but only for things like ear infections or a required "work physical".
He's overweight, out of shape, and who knows what his blood pressure and cholesterol are. I've tried insisting. I've tried begging. But that gets me nowhere. I love him, but he's the most stubborn person I know.
Honestly, there's only so much we can do. When I'm talking to a patient, I'm "the doctor". When I'm talking to Dad, I'm his little girl, and my advice simply doesn't hold weight.
So all I can do is be patient. One day, something will happen that will bring him to a doctor. I just hope it won't be too late.