Health forum draws gives men wellness lessons; Dr. Courtney Hollowell says men downplay importance of health care

February 11, 2014 3:03:00 PM PST
Dr. Courtney Hollowell, Chairman of Urology at cook County Health and Hospital System spends a lot of time talking to men about taking an active role in their health away from the office.

Each month, these men get a different lesson in health and wellness.

The male health forum draws a large group, at least 150 men, who fill a lecture hall at Trinity Church.

The average age of the audience is 68. Most are retired, but they're all eager to learn something new.

It's what Dr. Courtney Hollowell calls the "people's medical school."

"One of the most important things we're trying to give you is an education about your own body," he said.

Dr. Hollowell has been involved with the forum for several years.

That's in addition to his demanding day job. He's the Chairman of Urology at Cook County Health and Hospital System.

He says men tend to downplay the importance of taking an active role in their health care.

"Fifty percent of men don't see a doctor, even in the best circumstances, when they have health care insurance," he said.

Mike Austin agrees. He started coming to the male health forum last year.

"Maybe we're just too proud," he said. "A lot of times my wife kicks me in the butt to make me go to hospitals and doctors and things."

Dr. Hollowell lectures on a broad spectrum of health issues and this month it's heart disease.

He says men are not encouraged to be their own advocate, like women are.

"Their gynecologist imparts in them a lot of information about screening, about prevention, about wellness. Unfortunately, men don't get that information," he said.

"This is very important because the more you know about a particular subject, the more you respect it," said Charles Walker.

It's that respect and knowledge that's helping these men lead healthier lives.

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