There’s a joke about a man who goes to the doctor complaining that he sees spots. The receptionist asks, “Have you ever seen a doctor?” And he replies, “No. Just the spots.”
The joke gets laughs because it reflects a truth: Men put their health last.
According to healthcare experts, men are far less likely than women to seek a professional opinion about their health concerns, which could identify serious problems.
An online US survey found that that 72 percent of men would rather do household chores, like cleaning the bathroom, than go to the doctor. Even for the men who take their health more seriously, some 20 percent of men admitted they have not been completely honest with their doctor before.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is encouraging UAE national and expat males in the UAE to ‘MENtion It’ to qualified professionals when they have a potential medical issue. The hospital is organising a series of surveys in November designed to discover the extent of the challenge in the UAE.
“Culturally, we know firsthand that our male population is less comfortable speaking up when they have a healthcare concern, which could be anything from a recurrent headache to an issue with basic bodily functions,” said Dr. Bashir Sankari, Institute Chair of the Surgical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and a prominent Doctor in Urology.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has seen an increase in the number of men overcoming the perceived stigma around seeking medical advice for urological, prostate, and colon-related concerns. If left unaddressed, these issues may cause a significant deterioration in a man’s quality of life, and can lead to more serious conditions including cancer.
Through the end of the year, the hospital’s ‘MENtion It’ campaign will include educational sessions and online resources that encourage men in the region to proactively speak up and seek professional advice about health issues.
For more information, men in the region and their loved ones can visit MENtionit.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae.