Current Challenges in Men’s Health
Dr. Raman Tanwar
Consultant – Urologist and Andrologist – Jyoti Hospital and Urology Center
Consultant – Paras Hospital, Gurgaon
Men’s Health has been making its way to prime time. The reason for its delay has been the late realization of its need and the lack of awareness amongst menfolk. The image of men in the past has been so strong that most of us are comfortable neglecting the statistics. Civilizations and even species have changed with time, so why can’t men ? Scientifically we have enough evidence to declare men as a weaker sex and promote their health. This weakness has been present since the beginning of time but the pressures of the modern day have highlighted the evident and the matter can just not be pushed into the sheets anymore. Men’s health has many dimensions and providing comprehensive services to men is a leading issue. In this article we talk about current challenges to Men’s Health. We talk about these challenges by looking at solutions to the common questions that strike when one initiates an effort to work in the field of Men’s Health
Who leads the Men’s Health center ?
We have a rise in the number of men’s health facilities but who should provide them ideally ? Almost every specialist is justified in opening and heading a men’s health center as long as he/she is inclined to work for this cause but in my opinion the urologist is the right candidate to offer men’s health services. Across the globe men’s health is being rightly lead by urologists because of the intimate connection they bear with the male organs. Care of the male organs is central to men’s health because this is what can bring men to the clinics and help them become aware of what holistic health means. The establishment of the relationship between ED and coronary and endothelial dysfunction and the inclusion of lower tract symptoms as a part of metabolic syndrome are some of the chief motivating factors. The assessment of these to guide overall health is a powerful tool in the hands of the urologist.
Is running a Men’s Health Center financially viable ?
Men are not inclined to utilize health services and this is a big reason why Men’s Health Centers are not a huge success in many parts of the world. To be honest my own center which has recently made its debut is not financially self sustainable. However, we do have requests for comprehensive checkups, pre-marital checkup and adolescent checkups and we may see an upsurge in such consults as men become aware of the problems that they can encounter. Technology brings massive information to the front and it’s helping to raise the standard of care that men demand and eventually receive. To make a Men’s health center a profitable venture does require a tremendous effort on the IEC front for which we as urologists may not have enough time and patience. If the comprehensive list of services available at the center are publicized, there is a fair possibility of receiving optimal response not only on the preventive medicine front but also in the form of an increased surgical load as more men come forward to share problems that they silently suffer from.
What are the kind of services should a Men’s Health center offer ?
In the real sense a men’s health center should have a gamut of specialists including, but not limited to, Urology and Andrology, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Dermatology and veneral disease, Orthopaedics and sports medicine, Plastic Surgery and cosmetology, Dentistry, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, diagnostics and Pain management. While a few specialties can be available full time, its often difficult for centers to have all specialists available at all times otherwise it would rather be a running hospital. The men’s health center should thus have a dedicated urologist who can closely liaison with other specialists to achieve holistic healthcare. Presence of a supporting staff is mandatory, especially those who are trained to evaluate the health status of men by the use of questionnaires for various domains. An associated diagnostic laboratory is also crucial to be able to perform comprehensive wellness checkups. At our center for Men’s Health, we have a team of counselors along with full time urologist, orthopaedician, diagnostics and pain management along with general physician to cover most common health needs. Initial mental health evaluation is performed by the counselors and initial cardiac and hormonal evaluation is performed by the physician.
What are the best policies for screening men ?
Screening for men has been a controversial subject. Extensive and invasive screening makes men shy away and the protocols for screening very from region to region. Screening should take care of disease detection based on local prevalence. The screening protocol used at our center is adapted from the various screening protocols followed across the globe while giving consideration to diseases which are more prevalent in north India.
|Physical Examination (3 yearly)
Mental Health Evaluation
Blood Pressure Screening
(convert to yearly if pre-hypertensive)
Teach Testicular Self Examination
Drug Abuse Screening
Road Safety Sensitization
|Physical Examination (2 yearly)
Blood Pressure Screening
Mental Health Evaluation
|Physical Examination (yearly)
Blood Pressure Screening
|Lipid Profile (2 yearly)
Diabetic Screening (2 yearly)
X ray Chest
Colon Cancer Screening – Hemoccult
Lung Cancer Screening – X ray Chest
Osteoporosis Screening – DEXA
For every one who wants to work for the health of fellow men, setting up a men’s health center is a dream. As men’s health advances into a new sub-specialty the need of more such centers will be realized soon. There are many questions that need answers and many hurdles need to be crossed to venture into this new arena and dedicate the clinic to Men’s Health but with burning passion, it is possible to integrate men’s health into general practice and work towards developing a team in association with fellow physicians, cardiologists, mental health experts and diagnosticians to work towards holistic treatment of men. Small efforts by trained counselors towards teaching healthy habits, assessing health status by questionnaires and basic tests and spreading awareness about why men need extra care can go a long way.
The men’s health society of India is working towards providing modules not only for the specialists but also for the supporting staff to enable them to support us in this initiative. With the current pace of activities that are going on in the country, men’s health will soon be an area of new interest and we will see men coming outwards to discuss there health issues more often, not only for their own benefit but that of their families and the community at large.
About Dr. Raman Tanwar, MCh Urology
Dr. Raman Tanwar is Urologist and Andrologist who runs the Center for Men’s Health at Gurugram. His center provides comprehensive services to men and is one of the few centers to be recognized and endorsed by the Men’s health society of India. CMH, Gurugram is the first center of its kind in Gurugram to work towards this cause and amongst the very few centers in India who are leading the way in Men’s Health.