Waltham, MA –The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) announced today that the organization will expand beyond its role of simply raising awareness of the poor state of men’s health to one of identifying specific prevention and treatment strategies to improve men’s physical, psychological, and emotional health.
Citing such facts as one in five men will suffer a heart attack before age 65, that nine out of 10 fatal workplace accidents claim the lives of men, and that men account for four out of five suicides, the Medical Society’s Committee on Men’s Health is bringing a new focus to the subject of men’s health. It seeks to educate primary care providers, family physicians, and mental health professionals about the need to improve the diagnosis, treatment and maintenance plans for their male patients. Among the topics to be addressed at this year’s symposium are substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, men and domestic violence, psychological development, erectile dysfunction, and psychosocial issues of gay men.
The 2nd Annual Massachusetts Medical Society Symposium on Men’s Health, to take place Wednesday, June 16 at the Society’s Waltham Headquarters, is a full-day event and one of many continuing medical education programs offered by the Massachusetts Medical Society for physicians and health care professionals. The Society’s first conference on men’s health occurred last year, to call attention to the critical condition of men’s health in America.
Highlighting the 2004 symposium is keynote speaker Randall W. Maxey, M.D., Ph.D., president of the National Medical Association (NMA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing African American physicians and health professionals and the voice of more than 25,000 African American physicians and their patients. Dr. Maxey, a nephrologist in private practice in Los Angeles, will speak to the issue of “Eliminating Disparities in Health Care.”
The issue of men’s health came to the forefront some four years ago with a national survey by Harris and Associates for The Commonwealth Fund, a private health research foundation. The survey discovered that one-fourth of men didn’t see a physician in the year prior to the survey, three times the rate for women, and that one-third of men didn’t have a regular doctor to see when sick or in need of medical advice. A year later, the Centers for Disease Control published findings that said men make fewer visits to physicians, hospital outpatient and emergency departments than do women.
The significance of the findings were clear: that a “disconnect” exists between men and the health care system. Thus, men often don’t get or don’t seek preventive care for potentially life-threatening conditions so common in men 40 and older, such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, colon and prostate cancer.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 18,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians and patients of Massachusetts. Founded in 1781, the MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. The Society owns and publishes The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal Watch family of professional newsletters, and AIDS Clinical Care, and produces HealthNews, a consumer health publication. For more information, visit www.massmed.org.