Navigating the Health Care System: How to Get Men to Take Better Care of Their Health
Rand: What do real men wear? According to AHRQ, it’s gowns! Exam gowns, that is. AHRQ has teamed up with the Ad Council to launch a new national public service campaign designed to raise awareness among middle-age men about the importance of preventive medical testing. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy is here to tell us about it. Dr. Clancy, welcome.
Dr. Clancy: Thank you.
Rand: First, can you tell us a little about the campaign and specifically why it’s geared toward men?
Dr. Clancy: Everyone could use a reminder to take care of their health and we’ve found that’s especially true for men. Our research shows that men are 25 percent less likely than women to have visited the doctor within the past year and men are 1 and a half times more likely than women to die from heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases. So this campaign encourages men over 40 to learn which preventive screening tests they need and when they need to get them.
Rand: Can you explain how wearing gowns fits into the campaign?
Dr. Clancy: Sure. The advertising campaign includes television, radio, print and Web ads featuring lighthearted ads with men in exam gowns. The point is to show men that being a real man’ means taking care of yourself and your health in order to be there for your family in the future.
Rand: How do men find out what types of preventive screenings they need?
Dr. Clancy: The campaign encourages men to visit our new Web site ahrq.gov/realmen that provides a list of the recommended preventive tests and ages when you should get them. The site also has tips for talking with your doctor, a glossary of consumer health terms and links to online resources where you can find more medical information.
Rand: How do you see this campaign making a difference?
Dr. Clancy: I hope this campaign will get more men to seek preventive health care, and not just visit the doctor when they feel sick or have symptoms. The women who see the campaign can also encourage the men in their lives to take better care of their health. By taking steps to prevent disease and stay healthy, men can live longer and more productive lives.
Rand: Dr. Clancy, thanks for joining us.
Dr. Clancy: My pleasure.
Rand: To view the "Real Men Wear Gowns" ads and to find a recommended list of preventive medical tests, go online to ahrq.gov/realmen.