Movember 2015 has arrived
Today is November 1. In Canada, despite an usually warm fall and the sweet distraction of the Toronto Blue Jays playoff run this date inevitably signals a quick march towards colder weather. In my practice I find this time of the year particularly stressful. With the planned two-week shutdown at Christmas (and some planned time away) I'm forever trying to make decisions on which surgeries are urgent enough that I must get them booked on this side of the holiday season. Booking things in January and February often seems far away. Physicians make these judgements constantly and it all usually works.
Of course it is also time for that annual tradition of Movember. What started out in Australia over a few beer and a bit of a lark has turned into a major international fund raising and advocacy campaign for men's health issues. The creative team behind this extraordinary campaign continues to find ways to keep things fresh. For the current campaign this video very cleverly draws upon robotic surgery to highlight the cause. As a urologist (and a robotics surgeon) this now becomes go time!
I have reflected on Movember campaigns in the past and was thinking about how to participate in this year's campaign. As always we will grow some facial hair and have a team that represents the department of surgery here at Toronto East General Hospital. We will raise money and have a few laughs along the way. For me this has always been an opportunity for urologists who are natural leaders in men's health issues to advocate for their patients. As a urologist I look after many problems, both benign and malignant, for both women and men. Prostate cancer however continues to be a big thrust of my clinical practice. Last year the central part of my own experience included a conversation about prostate cancer awareness conducted over twitter by many people while I performed prostate cancer surgery.
As I have entered my 20th year in practice I think about the number of patients I have helped care over the years as well as many surgical procedures I have performed. I still have a distorted notion somewhere in a corner of my mind that I am junior faculty and just beginning a practice. The thinning hairline suggest otherwise. Our recent medical school reunion confirmed that indeed many years have flown by. What stands out the most are the unique stories in the lives of so many people that get shared with me. One such story was chronicled here. He died at 50. The courage and humour in the face of adversity always inspires.
Movember 2015 will be a lower key affair for me as I honour the men and women that have enriched my own life. It is a tremendous honour and priviledge.
Please consider visiting my personal Movember "mo Space" page this month