Patient Trust, Active Listening Key to Enhancing Men's Health Care


Patrick Alonso, PharmD, CPh, owner and manager of BlueZone Health Care Advocates and co-host of the Men’s Health Unscripted podcast, talks about how health care providers can build trust with male patients and what screenings men at different ages should be having.

It’s no secret that men are generally reluctant to seek out health care. According to a survey from the Cleveland Clinic, 50% of men who responded said they don’t consider getting their annual check-up a regular part of taking care of themselves and 20% admitted there have been times when they were not completely honest with their doctor.1

The lack of regular health check-ups and preventative screenings have led to men being more likely to die from certain conditions. The cancer rate among men is 20% higher than women, men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide due to mental health issues, and nearly 350000 men die each year in the United States of cardiovascular disease.2,3

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Patrick Alonso, PharmD, CPh, is the owner and manager of BlueZone Health Care Advocates in Tampa, Florida. He also is a co-host of the Men’s Health Unscripted podcast, which discusses different issues in men’s health. The aim of the podcast is to educate and empower men to take better care of themselves through honest and open discussion.

In an interview with Drug Topics, Alonso talked about how health care providers can build trust with male patients who might be hesitant to seek advice or discuss sensitive health issues, and how often men should visit their healthcare provider for routine check-ups and screenings.

“If you allow [men] to talk and kind of figure out what things are maybe going wrong in their life, whether it be health or mental health, they really start to open up a little bit more,” Alonso said. “The main thing is listening and waiting for them to explain what’s going on. It’s tough for men to just come right out and say, ‘Hey, I’m having this problem.’ Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time and really just building trust and letting them know you’re there for them.”

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1. Cleveland Clinic Survey: Men will do Almost Anything to Avoid Going to the Doctor. News Release. Cleveland Clinic. September 4, 2019. Accessed June 12, 2024.
2. Kim HI, Lim H, Moon A. Sex Differences in Cancer: Epidemiology, Genetics and Therapy. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2018 Jul 1;26(4):335-342. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2018.103. PMID: 29949843; PMCID: PMC6029678.
3. Improving Men’s Health. News Release. USA Gov. May 23, 2024. Accessed June 12, 2024.
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