A Common Interest Between Fathers and Sons
Cars are a common interest between fathers and sons. My dad was an exceptionally gifted mechanic. A popular family story is how he fixed a broken family tractor at the young age of 10. He went on to teach me how to tear down and rebuild an engine while I was just in junior high. Later in his life, he won several local Go Kart Racing Championships.
I recognized at an early age that I could never be as good of a mechanic as my dad. Fortunately, we lived on a dairy farm in Iowa, and I soon learned that I was really good at fixing living things.
The Challenge in Men’s Health
Fathers and sons talk about health issues far less than they talk about cars. Men are also less likely to talk with their doctor – 24% less likely than women. The challenge for me, as a urologist, is to get the conversation started.
Meeting Passionate Colleagues at AUA 2014
While at the AUA meeting in Orlando this month, I had the pleasure of meeting many colleagues doing extraordinary things –including a couple of fun-loving urologists who are combining their passion for cars with their passion for men’s health.
Dr. Sijo J. Parekattil and Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt of the PUR Clinic in Clermont, Florida, are launching the first “Drive for Men’s Health” event with a TESLA Model S electric car to start a conversation on men’s health.
Men’s health issues are important, but they aren’t always discussed regularly and openly. It’s important that men are aware of health issues they could face and know they’re okay to talk about with their doctor, friends and family.
While fueling an interest in men’s health, Dr. Parekattil and Dr. Brahmbhatt also hope to set a Guinness World Record with an electric car. On June 12th, during National Men’s Health Week leading up to Father’s Day, the pair will start their 24-hour, 1,100 mile drive from Clermont, Florida (South Lake Hospital), to the TESLA showroom in Manhattan. Through stops at charging stations along the East Coast, they hope to fire up many conversations. They have organized more than 4o colleagues from over 30 institutions to talk about men’s health issues.
I asked how they came up with this great idea:
“We thought it would be really cool to do a men’s health event to promote health awareness around things that men may be interested in – cars, technology, green energy and the future. What if we could wrap it all together?” – Dr. Sijo J. Parekattil
I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get involved and raise awareness for ostomates, Dr. Salisz’s experience with prostate cancer, and StomaCloak®. So we will be a sponsor wrapping a logo on the TESLA Model S in support of Drive for Men’s Health.
How You Can Get Involved
Drs. Parekattil and Brahmbhatt plan to make “Drive for Men’s Health” an annual event, and already have Clermont-NYC-LA scheduled for 2015, a drive in Germany is set for 2016, and China for 2017.
To get involved in this inaugural “Drive for Men’s Health” initiative, you can become a sponsor or support the Indiegogo campaign and raise scholarship funds for students to the new Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida.
Funds are also being raised to support a research study on men with chronic groin or testicular pain, post-vasectomy pain and post-inguinal hernia pain. The PUR Clinic is trying to assess if there may be any genetic abnormalities that could explain why some men suffer from these conditions.
We want to invest in our future (our youth and up-and-coming researchers trying to solve men’s health issues.) – Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt
Dr. Parekattil and Dr. Brahmbhatt are “training” for the big event, and are happy to already start a conversation by answering your questions. They even wrote a blog post to answer mine. Enjoy the video, and follow @drive4men!