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Men Reluctant to Visit Doctor Face Another Challenge

NEW YORK (Nov 1, 2013)

lobby at the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center
The lobby at the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center. Some patients compare it to an Apple store.

The Iris Cantor Men's Health Center, a new center at NewYork-Presbyterian, focuses on men's health and combines routine medical care with specialized services. The center offers everything from annual exams to advanced diagnostic imaging for a variety of conditions. Preliminary data shows that men, who are often notoriously reluctant to seek medical care, are visiting in higher numbers than expected. They are seeking initial appointments and returning for follow-up ones as well.

"We have surpassed all of our milestones and seen more patients than expected," said the center's director, Steven A. Kaplan, M.D. In the first year, doctors at the center have conducted about 2,800 primary care office visits and about 8,300 urology-related office visits.

Steven A. Kaplan, M.D.
Steven A. Kaplan, M.D.

"Once patients are in our system, they tend to be comfortable here," said Dr. Kaplan. "I think they feel that they have a home." The new center boasts an array of services including biofeedback, diagnostic scans, body fat count and body composition.

Dr. Kaplan believes that men may be especially lax about visiting the doctor and their health in general. "I think it is culturally and cosmetically driven. Men want to show that they are macho and strong. And because women have children, they are used to being in the hospital," he said.

After seeing the success of the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center, which opened in 2002, Mrs. Iris Cantor sought to provide a similar center dedicated to men. The Iris Cantor Men's Health Center opened its doors in July 2012, with a generous $20 million donation from Mrs. Cantor. A lot of patients are shared with the women's health center. "Sometimes we will take care of both partners one upstairs and one downstairs," said Dr. Kaplan. Care is offered in a non-threatening environment. In fact, some compare the design of the center's waiting room to that of an Apple store.

Although doctors at the center treat both men and women, there is a special focus on urology, internal medicine, cardiology and endocrinology at the men's center. He noted that men in their 40s and 50s typically visit the doctor complaining of sexual issues, decreased libido or are receiving treatment for prostate cancer. "This is an important opportunity to catch other central issues such as hypertension and diabetes," said Dr. Kaplan. "Our doctors are able to diagnose and manage many conditions with the convenience of one location."

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