Whether you are into a “chevron” (think Tom Selleck) or a “horseshoe” (picture Hulk Hogan), Movember is the chance to sport your favorite moustache, and for good reason. The month of November is an opportunity to raise testicular and prostate cancer awareness. While there are many factors why Movember is worthy of your attention, here are some important considerations for the improvement in the overall quality of men’s health.
Within the past year, men were 24% less likely than women to visit a doctor. And when hospitalized, it was more likely due to complications from serious illnesses like congestive heart failure, diabetes, or pneumonia - illnesses that could have been uncovered in routine visits or regular follow-ups. On average, men are dying six years earlier than women (Shmerling, 2016). Men also often miss out on early detection of cardiovascular disease and cancer - the two leading causes of death for American men (National Center for Health Statistics, 2015).
Whether it’s due to stereotypes or cultural factors surrounding machismo and masculinity, or the fear of invasive physical examinations, men tend to dislike routine check-ups and/or talking about health concerns. As future physicians, we must consider how to actively engage men in discussing their health and visiting their physician more regularly. That’s where Movember can come in. Movember gets men and women talking about the importance of these issues and how they can help and support one another in staying healthy. As a future physician, use this month to flex your medical knowledge muscles and strike up a very important conversation. So, if your Tom Selleck ‘stache' can play a small part in sparking that conversation, go for it! And just because you have no use for a “handlebar,” you can still get involved. If you need an extra dose of inspiration, meet the doctors and medical groups making a real difference in men’s healthcare.
For most, it is easy to imagine why patients don’t enjoy doctor visits - from the uncomfortable chairs to the mundane decor and unwelcoming smells, no wonder a wave of anxiety-induced panic hits them like a freight truck. Some doctors have taken note and are starting to change their office decor to make their patients feel more at ease. One Medical, a chain of clinics with nine locations in New York City, decided that they wanted to design doctor's offices that would enhance the health of their patients. They did away with stiff seating and bright white walls and replaced them with items that would remind their patients of a comfortable living room. And it’s paying off - studies have shown that the decor of a doctor’s office actually has a tangible effect on both how patients feel and how they perceive the quality of their care. According to HERD (2015), lighter colors have a pacifying effect in doctor’s offices and hospital rooms. And that’s exactly what One Medical did.
Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt and Dr. Sijo Parekattil founded Orlando Health’s Personalized Urology & Robotics Clinic, and are taking their show on the road to encourage men to face their fears about doctor visits. Their campaign, ‘The Drive For Men’s Health,’ is a 10-day, 6,000-mile endeavor across the U.S. to get men to start taking their health seriously.
Virtual medicine seems to be the wave of the future, especially among young men who are often the least likely to seek regular care. . In 2015, Stanford introduced a new model designed to marry the convenience of telemedicine with a relationship-building approach. Patients enrolled in the program, known as ClickWell Care, can choose the way they interact with healthcare providers, with options ranging from phone or video consultation to in-person visits. In addition, the program gives patients access to wellness coaches, certified personal trainers and stress reduction exercises, all accessible via their phone. The flexibillty ClickWell Care offers has been very popular amongst patients. Overall, the majority of patients in the program prefer in-person appointments for their first physician consultation, followed by phone or video chats when it’s time for a follow-up, creating a ‘best-of-both phenomenon’ approach to medicine.
As we move toward a future of more personalized, preventive care, the potential of innovative medical initiatives and telemedicine lies in their promise of choice. That’s a vision of health care we should all be aiming for and one that certainly surpasses the month of November.
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Our platform provides in-depth knowledge on all medical topics, including this month’s focus: testicular and prostate cancer. Within our platform, you can find high-quality and comprehensive radiologic imaging with overlays for diseases, diagnoses and treatments, vivid and detailed medical illustrations, easy interpretation of complex pathophysiologic mechanisms, flowcharts for full understanding of complicated processes, tables comparing the most important differentials, and much more. You can find our prostate cancer Learning Card by clicking ‘Movember.’
Health Environments Research & Design Journal (HERD). (2015). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/home/her
National Center for Health Statistics, (2015). Mortality in the United States, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db267.pdf
Shmerling, R.H. (2016). Why men often die earlier than women. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-men-often-die-earlier-than-women-201602199137