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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Improving men’s health: a delicate operation

Given the average man’s stoicism concerning his own health, it’s no surprise that men suffer from higher disease rates and a shorter life span than women. Luckily, a new program in the UC Davis Health System aims to raise men’s awareness of health problems early on and hopefully close the longevity gap between men and women.

Although the program has no specific age range for its patients, James Kiley, an internal medicine physician with the program, believes that young men would benefit greatly from the program.

“Men tend to ignore health problems until it’s too late,” Kiley said.

He added that it’s young men with active lifestyles who would benefit most from what the program has to offer.

The Men’s Health Program provides a team of doctors to address problems and conduct tests that a primary care physician does not have time for. Once all the tests have been conducted, referrals will be made to UC Davis specialists in cardiology, vascular medicine, endocrinology and sports medicine in order to receive further information and possible treatments. The program specializes in sports injuries, fertility and healthy living.

“Good medical advice early on can help men live the lives they want to live,” says Alan Shindel, a urologist in the Men’s Health Program.

On average, a primary care physician only has about 15 minutes per patient. This means that there is less time to conduct tests, analyze results and, ultimately, only enough time to deal with existing conditions. This lack of “preventative maintenance” as Shindel calls it, is exactly what the Men’s Health Program seeks to remedy. The program does not intend to replace your regular physician, simply to supplement the care you are already receiving.

Quite often, men refrain from receiving medical care due to the uncomfortable, impersonal nature of regular doctor visits. The doctors involved in the new program want to make men feel more at ease with seeking medical care.

“The program has been designed to create a place where men can feel comfortable,” Shindel said.

“The goal is for them to be able to stay active and healthy well into old age.”

For men who are interested in the program, patient consultations are conducted at Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center, 4860 Y St., Suite 2200 in Sacramento. For more information, visit ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/menshealth.

HUDSON LOFCHIE can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

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