Men's Health Exams

Should I get a yearly physical exam?

Several professional groups including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, have determined that routine annual physicals for healthy adults are unnecessary. Rather, healthy people are better served by seeing medical providers for specific age and risk-related screening tests, designed to detect medical conditions that are treatable when discovered early.

What screening tests do college men need?

For healthy men under age 40, the current guidelines recommend the following:

  • Testicular exam by a medical provider every 1 to 2 years. Testicular cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men age 18 to 35.
  • Testicular self exam every month
  • Blood pressure screening every 2 years
  • Blood test for cholesterol every 5 years

Please note that these guidelines are intended for people without symptoms. Specific risk factors or your previous history may lead your medical provider to request testing and visits at more frequent intervals.

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Who performs the screening tests?

You can request a specific medical provider at Health Services by name or by gender.

How much do the screening tests cost?

These screenings are free for all Brown students as part of your Health Services fee.

Who will see the results?

All of your medical records are confidential by state law. Health Services cannot release any of your medical information to anyone-including your parents or any other department at Brown-without your written consent. There are a very few exceptions when information is required to be released without your written consent in the cases of emergencies or when required by law. Your medical provider will address any concerns you have during your visit.

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What can I do to keep myself healthy?

  • If you are sexually active, use condoms and get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • If you have sex with women, understand the risks of pregnancy and the contraceptive options that are available. Be an active partner in pregnancy prevention and STI prevention.
  • Begin healthy eating habits now to reduce your risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
  • If you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, click here for information on how to quit or cut down.
  • Practice monthly testicular self-exams to detect testicular cancer.
  • Recognize the importance of support. Everyone's well-being depends on a supportive network of family and friends. Asking for help from those people and from resources at Brown is a sign of strength.

What else does Health Services have to offer?

  • Dermatology appointments
  • Appointments with the Health Education nutritionist.
  • Pharmacy services, including over-the-counter medications that are cheaper than local pharmacies.
  • Confidential STI testing
  • Condoms and dental dams are available in the bathrooms on the 1st and 3rd floors of Health Services. Reality condoms, non-latex condoms and lube can be purchased at Health Education, Room 310.
  • Allergy injections and immunizations

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What if I have a form that I need completed and it requires a general physical exam?

Health Services will provide routine physical exams if you need a form completed for a sports team, travel abroad, pre-employment requirements or any other reason.

Links you can use

Men's Health Center from the Mayo Clinic
Learn what's normal and what's not, take an interactive quiz about your body and read about sex and relationships from this informative site.

Men and Depression
Learn about depression in men, signs and symptoms, treatments available and how to get help. You can also listen to five men of different ages and backgrounds talk about their experiences with depression.

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Disclaimer: Health Education is part of Health Services at Brown University. Health Education maintains this site as a resource for Brown students. This site is not intended to replace consultation with your medical providers. No site can replace real conversation. Health Education offers no endorsement of and assumes no liability for the currency, accuracy, or availability of the information on the sites we link to or the care provided by the resources listed. Health Services staff are available to treat and give medical advice to Brown University students only. If you are not a Brown student, but are in need of medical assistance please call your own health care provider or in case of an emergency, dial 911. Please contact us if you have comments, questions or suggestions.