Executive Health: Teaching Men to be “Man-Enough” About Health

Physician of tomorrow

Healthcare & Men (Photo credit: moftasa)

Starting on playgrounds at an early age, many boys are taught that if they get knocked down, they should dust themselves off and keep playing. While these situations are chances for both genders to learn life lessons about perseverance and commitment, they can be the beginning of a lifelong trend of men avoiding the physician.

What is interesting is that men do not realise that they are actually the weaker sex; starting at conception with the male fetus having a greater risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, this continues throughout the lifespan, which for men is shorter.

Why is it So Dangerous to Be a Man?

Men are more likely to die before the age of 50 and will suffer from more health conditions during their lives including:

  • Higher incidences of colorblindness and hearing loss
  • Higher death rates from pneumonia and influenza
  • Higher death rates from cancer and coronary artery disease

Even with these higher risk factors, men seem to not only avoid seeing a physician, but when they do, they are less likely to discuss emotional and mental health issues. They also spend less time with the physician than women, and are less likely to ask for and receive advice from the physician about changing risk factors for illness.

How Do We Get Men to the Physician?

A major step in getting men to seek out medical attention is to shake old perceptions that seeking help for medical or emotional problems is a sign of weakness. They need to see men they consider strong discussing medical health. Physicians have to also appeal to men’s sense of masculinity and remind them that they cannot protect and provide for their families if they are not healthy.

The bottomline for men – Ignoring medical symptoms or injuries is not the macho thing to do. Seeing a physician can save your life.

From: American Osteopathic Association

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