Women's health centers are a common sight around the country, and for good reason, but now, there's a growing movement to create similar medical spaces for men, with two already open in the city. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.
New York Presbyterian Hospital had a growing problem at its Women's Health Center.
"Men only become in touch with their bodies when their body starts not behaving correctly and then they complain to their partners or their wives. So that was a problem, because a lot of them were going to the women’s center with their significant others," says New York Presbyterian's Iris Cantor Men's Center Urologist Dr. Alexis Te.
It led to the development of the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center in 2012.
Just this year, NYU Langone opened the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men's Health.
Both aim to offer their male patients a one-stop-shopping experience, managed by their primary care physician.
"If you ask a man to go across the street for a blood or urine sample, they’re not going to do it, but we just walk them down the hallway and they get their bloods. Men like that. It’s about convenience and it’s about also effective, intelligent healthcare," says NYU Tisch Center for Men's Health Medical Director Dr. Steven Lamm.
Joel Ehrlich is a patient at the Iris Cantor men's center and says the whole body approach is refreshing.
"Dr. Kaplan was able to say, 'I’d like you to see Dr. Hugo. I think everything’s fine, but I want you to be checked,' and I said, 'OK, do I make an appointment?' And he said, 'No, no problem. We’ll just get you in right now. He’s across the hall.' I was like, whoa," says Ehrlich.
Ehrlich says his team of doctors helped him to become more proactive about his health.
"I've noticed when my wife talks with her friends about her health, because I hear her on the phone, it's, like, serious. My friends and I, when we talk about health issues, we laugh—we make fun of them, because we don't want to get serious about them," Ehrlich says.
NYU's Dr. Lamm says it's about giving men the power over their health care, in a comfortable environment.
"Men want coaches. They don’t want repairmen and they certainly don’t want to be criticized," Lamm says.
Facilities like NYU's Tisch Men's Health Center are a part of this national shift—due in part to the health care reforms—toward coordinated primary care.
"Men’s health is about all of us together in one pod talking about, to each other, about how to improve one’s health," Te says.
The hope is that centers like these will lead to a drop in preventable deaths from heart disease and other chronic ailments.