Photo by Krysti Shallenberger
1111 Heritage MedicineDr. Matthew Parker discusses health and life with patient Sandy Setson.
Heritage Medicine, a family practice, operates a little differently than most doctor’s offices.
“We want to approach the whole person, not just their immediate problems, and get to know them personally because this helps us treat them better as a whole,” said Dr. Matthew Parker, owner and primary doctor at Heritage Medicine.
Parker’s patients know that he is available after-hours for them and that he makes house calls regular practice.
“I called him at 7 p.m. just to ask him about a prescription problem, and he got right on that phone and helped me out,” said patient Clint Welch.
The practice at Heritage Medicine is not to treat the outward symptoms but to dig at the root problem and treat the whole person.
“For instance,” Parker said, “obesity affects a lot more than just not feeling good. High blood pressure, diabetes and even your basic aches and pains can be cured with weight loss. So what we do is look at the patient’s lifestyle, see what they need to do and help them accomplish it.”
Parker first came to Alabama as a traveling doctor. Going from place to place around the northeastern part of the state showed him several different office styles that he wanted to incorporate in his own office. However, he felt frustrated that using all the medical technologies available to to help his patients was not enough.
“Most people come in with viruses, aches and pains and other ailments that can be treated with a prescription that cures those symptoms, but doesn’t address the root of the problem,” he said.
He saw that in his own life and family as well and began researching new ideas about medicine that allowed him to do more than merely treat symptoms with a prescription.
“Most of the time [patients] just need to adjust their lifestyle, what they eat, watch their weight, watch their stress levels,” Parker said.
At the same time, Parker integrates prescriptions and conventional medicinal tactics in combination with holistic practices.
On his busiest days, he sees 20 patients. During those visits, he takes the time to learn about them enough to figure out if they need a prescription or a more natural practice.
Parker’s natural approach is a way of life for his sons too.
“They don’t know candy,” he said, “We eat fruits and more organic foods that you find at the local farmer’s market.”
Parker recommends this lifestyle for everyone.
“We are supposed to be comfortable here on earth,” he said, “We have what we need to survive without all those things added to enhance it. Natural foods and a healthier lifestyle go a lot farther than only getting treated for one symptom while you might have other health problems.”