When it comes to their health, men are notorious for not making it a priority. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are significantly less likely to see their doctor than women are. The survey found that more than 75 percent of women have spoken to or seen their doctor within the last six months, while only 60 percent of men have.
The Men’s Health Program at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos works to address this by offering a convenient and easy healthcare experience for men. It provides a team approach to care and has a variety of specialists who are focused on men’s health issues, including a cardiologist, urologist, sleep disorder specialist, sexual dysfunction specialist and as of recently, a bariatric specialist. Others, such as orthopedic surgeons, gastroenterologists and otolaryngologists, are brought in to provide their services as necessary.
Edward Karpman, MD, co-medical director of the Men’s Health Program, says, “This type of one-stop approach is great for the patient and for the doctors. While these services may be offered at other hospitals, what makes our program unique are the ways that we work together with the common understanding that these are interrelated conditions, yet they are generally treated independently.”
He continues to explain, “For example, erectile dysfunction is an early warning symptom of cardiovascular disease. In the past, men would see one doctor about sexual dysfunction, and a completely different doctor for heart conditions. Because the two doctors were separate entities, the connection between sexual dysfunction and heart disease went unnoticed for many years. Having this type of multidisciplinary approach in one physical location helps us serve patients as a whole and treat conditions that may have gone undiagnosed.”
Dr. Karpman is excited to be leading the Men’s Health Program. “Women are much more proactive about their health. In fact, there is statistical evidence that the majority of medical decisions within a family are made by a woman. Because of this, many men’s health issues are underserved. This program is an opportunity for us to inform men about the importance of taking care of themselves. It is a relatively new field, and accepting this type of care as a standard in medicine is the next big step.”