According to a 2010 study on men’s health, “men are less likely than women to access primary care and engage in prevention,” in part because they spend less time with doctors and nurse practitioners than women and are less in-depth in their conversations with these health professionals when they are in an appointment. Additionally, the study found that “men are more likely than women to engage in high-risk behaviors that adversely impact health, such as tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drug use,” as well as riskier recreational activities. While this certainly doesn’t apply to all men, it does highlight the importance for men to seek out preventative health and medical professionals who can help them take care of their health before acute or chronic conditions occur.
Nurse practitioner Geoffrey McGowen has seen first hand what can result from a lack of preventative care, or from the kind of high-risk behaviors that a study published in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners found. From his time as a helicopter flight nurse, to his participation on a trauma team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the state’s only n level one trauma center, to his current position as a nurse practitioner at Chattanooga’s Erlanger Health System, Geoffrey has plenty of experience in treating conditions that were the result of accidents or bad luck, but also those that were a long time coming and could have been avoided or mitigated with better routine recommended healthcare maintenance.
Preventative care for men can include regular screenings that test for conditions like prostate cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, and high blood pressure. You can find out if your weight is within a healthy range, and make sure your immunizations are up to date. A nurse practitioner like Geoffrey can advise you on what screenings are appropriate or important for someone of your age and medical history. As a nurse practitioner, he can also advise you on how to cut back on unhealthy habits that could lead to medical problems down the road— such as smoking, excessive drinking, or unhealthy food choices. You’ll also have an opportunity during your appointment to discuss symptoms that might point to sometimes subtle conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or problems with vision or hearing. Appropriate referral and treatments can be recommended.
Geoffrey McGowen has learned in over a decade of nursing care how to help people of all ages and genders lead healthier lives. According to the CDC, “women are 100% more likely than men to seek preventative care.” So don’t wait to see a physician once you’re in the emergency room. Instead, schedule an appointment with your local nurse practitioner or doctor’s office and start the healthy habit of routine screenings that will give you a leg up on better health!