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mens health

Press Release - 01 March 2006

Bath academics help launch campaign to get men to talk to their doctors

A new campaign to encourage men to talk to their doctors has been complemented by the launch of a new publication by Bath academics which will help GPs improve their skills and expand their knowledge of men’s health needs.

According to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), men are risking their lives through their reluctance to seek help from GPs. To help change this, the RCGP is launching a new campaign encouraging men to be more proactive in seeking help from their doctors and more upfront about discussing their health worries and concerns.

The RCGP Learning Unit, based in the University of Bath's School for Health, has developed a new interactive short course to help GPs, practice nurses and other primary care professionals expand their knowledge and understanding of men’s health needs and improve skills and consultation techniques.

Men’s Health in General Practice Part 1 covers:

As well as real doctor-patient consultations, resource material and links to professional websites, the course provides the opportunity for peer review with optional self assessment questions and clinical audits with tutor feedback.

Professor Peter Orton, Clinical Director RCGP Learning Unit at the University of Bath, said: “It’s a sad fact that mortality rates are higher for men than women for all major causes of death – but it’s also a fact that men are endangering their lives by being reluctant to seek help from their GPs.

“Health professionals are faced with a difficult task when treating male patients; men rarely visit their GPs, and they have limited awareness of the health issues facing them.

“GPs can’t change male behaviour towards their health overnight, but we can be better prepared by improving our techniques in diagnoses, investigation and management of all diseases - not just the common ones - and exploring the underlying emotive cause and effects of men’s health.”


The launch of Men’s Health in General Practice Part 1 will be followed with Parts 2 Parts 3 later this year, dealing with issues including prostate disorders, mental health and sexual problems.

The Royal College of General Practitioners is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom solely for GPs. It aims to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and to act as the “voice” of GPs on issues concerned with education; training; research; and clinical standards. Founded in 1952, the RCGP has over 23,000 members who are committed to improving patient care, developing their own skills and promoting general practice as a discipline.

The RCGP Learning Unit is a collaboration between the Royal College of General Practitioners and the University of Bath. Based in the University’s School for Health, the Unit’s aim is to help professionals achieve their own goals in providing patients with the highest standards of professional care. The Unit offers a range of innovative distance education in a variety of primary care topics. Learning is flexible taking advantage of new interactive technology, and provides an up-to-date solution to continuing professional development needs.

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