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GET A TUNE-UP. Annual physicals are more impor- tant than regu- larly changing the oil in a car, yet men are more likely than women to skip a


checkup visit to their doctor, according to a recent poll by Louis Harris and Associates.


A growing trend among health


centers addresses this concern, offer- ing men a one-stop-shopping-style checkup and testing.


Here’s how: Men who aren’t interested in spending a day window- shopping certainly aren’t into a day of appointments to check off a list of simple health screenings. So, special health programs—modeled after executive health screenings formerly accessible only at getaway destinations like the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, or the Greenbrier Clinic, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia—are popping up at local hospitals from coast to coast. As part of the men’s health pro- gram at Shawnee Mission Medical Cen- ter, serving the Kansas City area, for ex- ample, doctors emphasize “maintaining optimal performance” versus “let’s see what’s wrong with you.” Prior to an ap- pointment, patients visit a lab location for tests, so that all of their results are ready when they visit the doctor. Then, on the day of their appointment, some additional screenings are performed, if necessary, so the time men spend with the doctor is used more effectively. This personalized, focused at- tention and all-at-once approach can provide straightforward strategic health planning—a map of diet, exercise and lifestyle targets to aim for in the coming year that can keep men here and healthy.


Judith Fertig is a freelance writer in Overland Park, KS; see AlfrescoFood AndLifestyle.blogspot.com. She inter- viewed Dr. Robert Butler before his passing.


natural awakenings June 2011 27


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