Beer, wings, jiu jitsu, poker, a virtual gun range and Lamborghinis were just some of the toys and treats that made a visit to the doctor a whole lot more exciting Saturday.
Guys — and gals and kids — filled the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto on Saturday for the fourth annual Guys Expo, where the goal was to mix in some fun with the necessary medical screenings.
Mark Bowman, with Keller Williams Realty, said he was taking advantage of as many health screenings as he could.
“I’m the typical guy that doesn’t like to go to the doctor; but with the entertainment, the classic cars and the food, it’s fun,” Bowman said.
Bowman attended last year’s Guys Expo and was happy to see it grow — and that there were more ladies in attendance.
The annual event, put on by the Urology Partners of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, featured 50 vendors and 50 medical practices that offered those who attended free health screenings or consultations and panel discussions. Screenings included vision, hearing, skin cancer, body mass index, blood pressure, foot and ankle, balance, glucose and testosterone testing.
But crowds gathered for the wellness as much as they did for the fun.
A jiu jitsu tournament took place in the middle of the convention, with men and women competing while others watched. For card lovers there was a poker table, and for car enthusiasts of all types there was something to see. Beer, wine and margarita tastings also drew quite a crowd as did the wings from Wing House, pulled pork sliders from Sonny’s BBQ and chips and salsa from Mi Pueblo.
Driving simulators also allowed participants to experience the affects of texting while driving or drunk driving, with never having to leave the expo, thanks to The National Save A Life Tour sponsored by Blake Medical Center.
Dr. Allan Miller and Dr. Austin Hill, with the Urology Partners, were thrilled to see the hundreds of people coming in to hopefully see a doctor, learn something and have a good time.
“Here, we can break down the barrier between the patient and the doctor,” Miller said. “The last person I spoke to doesn’t even have a family doctor.”
Urology Partners, like many of the vendors, sign on new patients as a result of the event.
But more importantly, Hill said, “It’s about putting men’s health care out in the open.”
Women generally are more comfortable with discussing women’s health issues than men are with their own, he added.
Many of the medical practices had to create waiting lists because so many people wanted a screening or consult.
Anne Marie Lewis, one of the owners of Synergy Medical, kept paperwork in order as dozens of people signed up for a trigger point consultation and massage.
“Some people know they have problems from other doctors,” Lewis said. “We can hone in on them.”
At least 40 people had already been seen by Symidway through the five-hour event.
“We’ve gotten a lot of patients who have signed up for appointments.”