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Men's Health Clinic Background

A Men's Health Clinic has been established at the Student Health Center to address health issues relevant to college men, including high risk behaviors, drug, alcohol and tobacco use, STIs, health-promotion behaviors, and preventive medicine.

Statistically, college men visit health centers less frequently than college women during their college careers. Minimizing their health needs is one way that guys try to prove they're real men and in excellent shape. To show they are tough, many men take risks they shouldn't. They delay medical care while bragging that they haven't seen a doctor in years. They knowingly take unnecessary risks, cut corners on safety, and insist that they can drink and drive.

In comparison with college women, college men are more likely to binge drink, are at a greater risk for STIs, have a higher injury rate, are more likely to be hospitalized, and have higher rates of depression and suicide.

Factors that influence college men's behavior include gender stereotypes which influence men's ideas of masculinity, a need to conceal vulnerability, a relative lack of health knowledge, failure to adopt health promoting behavior, and willingness to take unnecessary risks.

Nationwide, the idea of establishing men's health centers on college campuses began 12-13 years ago and has gradually spread across the country. The Student Health Center at William and Mary has researched this idea and began offering appointments in the spring of 2001. Prior to an appointment, men will be given a men's health fact sheet, health literature to review, and a history form to complete prior to their exam. Included in their examination will be a review of immunizations, lab tests as indicated, information on STIs, education on testicular self-examination, and other health education materials.