How does a man begin dealing with something as embarrassing as impotence? He will make an appointment to see his doctor in the hope that he will leave with a prescription for Viagra. That alone may solve his problem. If it does not, then more has to be done. His physician, who is interested in uncovering the cause of his current problem, may ask some specific questions. Talking about what has happened -- technically known as the medical history -- is the starting point. What invariably unfolds is a remarkable story. Men and women usually reveal their personal histories in the privacy of a doctor's office setting. My office, I suspect, is no different than those of my colleagues.
Picture one weathered brown desk, three comfortable chairs: two for my patients, another for me, all upholstered in a tweedy gray, the obligatory diploma array on the wall, medical reference books, some at my fingertips, others in bookcases, photos of my family -- the space is about as cozy as you can make a space for men and women to feel at ease discussing sensitive subjects.
Still, there are times when anger and frustration, long held in check, erupt in even the most tranquil office setting. But seemingly insurmountable problems can be resolved as long as men and their partners are willing to work together with each other and their physician. It really is quite gratifying to find a way to help.