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“Man up”: The changing face of healthcare delivery for men.

Like most women, I’m a proactive healthcare consumer. Like most men, my husband is NOT. Apparently, this is an all too common scenario. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, women have a clear healthcare path moving from pediatrician to gynecologist. Men don’t have a clear healthcare path and might not see a doctor for several years after leaving the care of their pediatrician. All too often, healthcare is only sought when there is an emergency.

But now, there is a movement to help men become their own healthcare advocates so that they can live longer, healthier lives. Major healthcare institutions are reaching out to men in a variety of ways. Some hospitals are centralizing medical care, allowing men to make all their appointments in one place—starting with the urologist but having other specialties available. While one-stop shopping is a great idea, men still need to be enticed to see a doctor on a preventative basis.

This enticement is taking the form of designing medical offices that appeal to men. One is the Man Cave at Mount Sinai Medical Center. A sports-themed waiting room created by prostate cancer survivor (and AW client) Thomas Milana, Jr., and his doctor, Ash Tewari, M.D., it’s an innovative patient care model with a clear goal. According to Dr. Tewari, “If we provide men with an environment that is male-friendly, it will encourage them to seek preventative care.”

Another enticement? Anonymity. Many men are uncomfortable with the face-to-face consultation—or even discussing a potential medical issue over the phone to make an appointment. The use of technology, whether it be online scheduling, emailing questions or the use of live video consulting services are key tools many healthcare providers are trying to encourage men to take ownership of their health.

Whether it’s convenience, comfort or online consultations, men are changing the face of healthcare delivery for the better. After all, who doesn’t want to live a longer, healthier life?

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