Real Men Wear Gowns: Encouraging Men’s Health Awareness

Men often face barriers when it comes to seeking help and support for their health and well-being. This month in honor of Men’s Health Month we want to encourage men to seek medical care before an emergency occurs.  Seeking help and support is a sign of strength, not weakness.  Unfortunately, many men do not go to the doctor regularly for various reasons, such as fear, distrust, or negative experiences.

Even if you are not a football fan, you may recall the recent cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills’ safety, Damar Hamlin, during a game. Damar experienced a phenomenon called commotio cordis, which can occur when an athlete is hit hard in the chest by force from another player or with a hard ball. While Damar was fortunate not to have an underlying health condition that could have ended his career or life, many men are not as lucky. Neglecting regular check-ups and ignoring body pain can be detrimental to their health.

Men should focus on their health and well-being by scheduling regular check-ups with a healthcare provider. Preventive care is cheaper and less complicated than treatment, and it can lead to a longer and healthier life. The man panel, which includes screenings for prostate, colon, testicular, and skin cancers, diabetes, and lipid panels, should be taken by every man. Personalized care and advice based on their age, lifestyle, and family history can be provided by developing a relationship with a healthcare provider.  Many men wait for an emergency before seeking medical care. However, prevention is critical in maintaining good health, and regular check-ups allow healthcare professionals to detect potential health issues early on.

Age is an important factor to consider when it comes to preventative health care. Men should start getting wellness check-ups at age 18 and continue throughout their life. As men age, they have more health risks and should start getting screenings as young as 40 unless their provider says different.

Some men lie to their healthcare providers, which can prevent accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Men may lie due to fear of judgment, embarrassment, or wanting to avoid uncomfortable medical procedures or lifestyle changes.  It is essential to be honest with healthcare providers to receive the best possible care. Medical professionals are trained to put their patient first and not judge them for their choices.  Telling the truth about symptoms and behaviors can help providers make informed decisions about treatment options. Men should feel comfortable discussing any concerns or issues with their healthcare provider to improve their health outcomes.

It is important to remember that even if you visit a doctor, and don’t like them, you do not have to continue seeing them.  There are different types of providers that are trained to help you such as, a nurse practitioner, osteopathic doctor, or physician assistant.  Changing providers often is better than avoiding care altogether because your life depends on it.

By raising awareness about men’s health and combating stigma and stereotypes, we can create a culture of acceptance and understanding. Real men do wear gowns – and they also prioritize their health. Let’s continue the conversation about men’s health and encourage men to seek help and support when they need it. “Healthy men, strong men: Let’s take charge of our health!”  This men’s health awareness message is brought to you by your local Purdue Extension office, your educational partner for life.

Article brought to you by the Purdue Extension Men’s Health Team

Contact: Monica Nagele at [email protected] with questions.

– Monica Nagele is the County Extension Director and educator of health and human science for the Montgomery County Purdue Extension.