TOM TALKS: Dr. William Steers, Chair of the Department of Urology

As Part of: Tom Talks - Local Innovators, Global Impacts
Date: April 12
Time: 5:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: The Haven
Partner Website: Click Here

Is the Y chromosome dangerous to your health? Insights into gender specific personalized medicine.

Are men destined to die earlier than women?  The male of most species has a shorter life expectancy than the female. This has led some to postulate the males are programed to die sooner. However, until the early part of the 20th century men lived longer lives due primarily to premature death of women following childbirth. Moreover, throughout the world the differences in life expectancy vary dramatically from merely a year or two (Japan) to decades (Russia.).

In the U.S., men die five to seven years earlier than women in the US and surpass women in nine out of ten categories for the leading causes of death. Theories abound: genetic factors related to “maleness”, to “male” behaviors and to environment.

One exacerbating fact is the male reluctance to seek medical attention. Men visit health care providers a third less often than women. In 1999, men accounted for 135 million fewer office visits than women. Over 9 million adult men hadn’t seen a doctor in over 5 years. This talk is about novel platforms for health care delivery based on gender differences may allow better access and health care outcomes- truly personalized medicine but with a masculine twist.


Dr. William D. Steers is a Paul Mellon professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia. Dr. Steers authored the development of YOURometer, an iPhone app that gives users a way to track urological related symptoms easily, monitor daily urological activities, and communicate quickly with healthcare providers. His entrepreneurial activities also include using crowdcasting to fund medical research. Crowdcasting uses a combination of push and pull strategies to first engage an audience and build a network of participants and then harness the network for new insights.

Dr. Steers is past President of the American Board of Urology (ABU) and Editor of the Journal of Urology. In 2004 he initiated the Men’s Four Miler road race to raise funds for men’s health. In 2011 he was appointed to the advisory council at National Institutes of Health by Kathleen Sibelius and Francis Collins.

Dr. Steers was President of the University of Virginia physician’s practice plan from 2002-2009 and is a member of the Health System Strategic Planning and Executive Committees.


  • Tom Talks - Local Innovators, Global Impacts