Conventional wisdom says men, especially black men, won’t go to the doctor until it’s too late to stop or reverse illness, but you couldn’t tell by the thousands of black men who showed up recently for the 10th annual Minority Men’s Health Fair at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Dr. Charles Modlin, a kidney transplant surgeon, urologist and founder and director of the Minority Men’s Health Center of Cleveland, said he and hundreds of volunteers saw thousands of minority men receive free health screenings in an attempt to reduce health care disparities in the African American male population.

While the health fair was open to all people, officials targeted minority men because, on average, they have high mortality rates and poorer outcomes for a variety of health issues.

“These statistics don’t lie. When we look at the lifespan of African American males [about 8 years less than their white counterparts]….these health care disparities are a real phenomenon.  And we don’t have to accept the fact that these exist. There is something we can do about it,” said Modlin, one of fewer than two dozen African American transplant surgeons in the country.

In a YouTube video promoting this year’s health fair, actor Bill Cobbs urged men to attend the health screenings because “early detection is the greatest way to hope for a cure and beat these diseases.”

Doctor’s Orders: Black Men Are Taking Health Seriously  was originally published on

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