Friday, February 28, 2014
Blame it on machismo, social conditioning, or something in the DNA, but when it comes to their health, many men are notoriously and dangerously neglectful. A persistent ache or pain? Just grin and bear it. Time for an annual checkup? Put it off until there’s more time. Physicians lament that some men take better care of their cars than their own bodies. On average, men die 5.4 years younger than women.
“Part of it is the manly ideal, part of it is fear factor,” explains Steven Lamm, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine (pictured above left). “They’re afraid the doctor will find something wrong that restricts their work or activities.” The consequence, he adds, is that men—especially those who don’t have a partner to coax or cajole them to visit the doctor—tend to get “lost” in the healthcare system after their pediatric years. During middle age, fully a quarter of them start accumulating metabolic baggage: obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar and cholesterol, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Champion of preventive medicine that he is (for many years, Dr. Lamm has shared his expertise on TV newscasts and talk shows, including ABC’s The View, where he’s a regular guest), he sees his latest role—medical director of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health at NYU Langone—as both an opportunity and a challenge. “We’re seeing a growing number of younger and middle-aged men who aren’t waiting until they get sick to see a doctor,” observes Dr. Lamm. “Our center allows them to stay at the top of their game.”
If the tremendous success of NYU Langone’s Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health is any indication, its male counterpart, which opened in January, should find a very receptive audience. The Center for Women’s Health, which started seeing patients in September 2011 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, provides a full spectrum of clinical services to some 200 patients daily within a warm, modern setting. The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health, located at 555 Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets, also doesn’t lack for ambience or amenities.
Occupying the building’s entire second floor, the center is honeycombed with examination and consultation rooms, as well as areas for noninvasive testing. In its services, design, and decor, the center brings personalized medicine to a new level of sophistication and intimacy. “Men can see their internist, receive physical therapy, radiology testing, or have cosmetic surgery in one visit—all within an executive-type setting that’s close to their Midtown office,” says Jennifer Savitzky, the center’s administrative director.
The Center offers comprehensive care in an elegant, convenient setting.
“Most men’s centers are euphemisms for urology practices,” points out Andrew Brotman, MD, senior vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy, chief clinical officer, and professor of psychiatry. “As we did for women’s health, we decided to look at men’s health more globally, focusing on both routine acute care and prevention while catering to the types of problems and issues that are most important to men.” Accordingly, 15 distinguished specialists are housed under one roof, including experts in internal medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, endocrinology, neurology, dermatology, pulmonary medicine, orthopaedics/sports medicine, and mental health.
“We see the center as a magnet for men who are interested in maintaining good health,” says Herbert Lepor, MD, the Martin Spatz Chair of the Department of Urology and professor of urology, and biochemistry and molecular pharmacology. “Busy men can have a general assessment, for example, and be quickly and efficiently referred to a urologist or cardiologist, if needed."
Dr. Lamm emphasizes that the center benefits from the full resources of the Medical Center. “This means we’ll be able to refer our more complex cases to departments and services that only a tertiary care institution like NYU Langone can support,” he explains. “Our goal is not just to provide the most advanced treatment for diseases that target men, but to prevent these conditions.”