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Why a Men’s Physical is So Important for Men’s Health

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mens health physicalDoes the man in your life take better care of his car than he does himself?

One survey, commissioned by Orlando Health, found that more than 80 percent of men could remember the make and model of their first car, but only about half could remember the last time they went to the doctor for a checkup.

That was the motivation that led to the Drive for Men’s Health, a campaign started by two doctors who are crossing the country for the third time to get out one simple message: “Take care of your body as well as you do your car. Get regular maintenance checks, and don’t ignore the warning light when something needs fixing.”

The brains behind the drive are Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt and Dr. Sijo Parekattil, both urologists and co-directors of The PUR Clinic (Personalized Urology and Robotics) in Clermont, Florida.

The problem, they say, is that surveys show that men don’t go to the doctor as often as women, and are not as forthcoming when they do.

On June 4 (just in time to celebrate Men’s Health Month), the doctors will be getting in their all-electric Tesla and driving 2,500 miles from Florida to California, stopping along the way to get their message out.

So why don’t more men go to the doctor on a regular basis?

The No. 1 reason (22%) is that they are “too busy,” according to the Orlando Health survey. The No. 2 reason (21%) is that they are “afraid of finding out what might be wrong.” The third reason (18%) is fear of “uncomfortable” checks like prostate or rectal exams. Other reasons (all less than 10%) were not wanting to get weighed, not wanting to be naked wearing only a gown and even that the exam room is too cold.

Start by asking your partner or spouse about his reason for not wanting to see the doctor. Once you know what’s stopping him, you can help find a solution.

If he’s short on time, find a way to take something off his plate—whether that’s yard work, grocery shopping or just running a few errands.

Some of the other reasons (like not wanting to be naked, get weighed or have an uncomfortable exam) are issues that you can help him work through in his mind. Ask him if he prefers a male or female doctor. Stress that those uncomfortable exams will be over before he knows it.

If it’s fear, however, that’s holding your man back, you can assure him that he’s not alone. In fact, there’s even a name for the extreme form of the condition—iatrophobia—and 3% of the population suffers from it, according to U.S. News and World Report. Ask him if his friends go to a doctor they like and would recommend. Using someone they know a friend trusts might ease their nerves.

The bottom line is that your man should treat himself with the same respect that he shows for his car. The ride of life isn’t always smooth. He may indeed find out that he has to watch his blood pressure or that his blood sugar is running a bit high. But would he rather be in the driver’s seat, taking charge of the situation? Or would he prefer to sit in the backseat with blinders on?

Ask your loved one what he prefers. Then contact us to take the next step and schedule his tune-up. At the end of the day, he’ll feel better knowing he’s behind the wheel, ready and able to tackle any challenges that may lie ahead.

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