Story by Jefferson City Magazine Staff | Jan 05, 2018
Dr. Matt Brooks, D.O.
Tell us about your background as an actor.
I started acting as a child in school plays and local community theatre. I studied theater on scholarships and worked summer theatre and local gigs throughout my training. I then chased the dream for years in NY and in LA. The reality of pursuing a career in acting meant always moving and always looking for the next job. I realized that I’d never be able to settle down and have all the other things I wanted in life. Wife. Kids. Stability.
What led you to medicine?
Not to sound too grandiose, but I’d say God led me to it. I wanted to use the gifts He’d given me to help those around me, instead of just glorifying myself. And with the decision to leave acting, I prayed hard and tried a few different routes, but then everything in my life lined up to say, “This is the way.” I just followed the path He put me on.
How does an arts background impact you as a physician?
My years in theatre put me in contact with a WIDE variety of people. In theatre, you work very closely with a whole new set of people and personalities every 8-12 weeks. You get to know each other fast, and then it’s time to move on. It’s a great education in the study of human nature. Now, that background lets me get a good sense of people from the time I step in the room. It informs my ability to meet them where they are and find the best way to help them.
Why did go into family care at JCMG?
JCMG has a unique business model in that it is physician owned and operated. Hospitals and hospital networks are operated by business managers and administrators. Which isn’t to say that they don’t care about the patients, but I do think they tend to put the business before the people. Doctors become doctors because they want to help people. I like having the freedom to determine how to best care for my patients.
You offer primary care for entire families. Do kids benefit from seeing the same doctor as their parents?
Absolutely. When you treat the whole family, you have the best insight and perspective on how to help everyone. For example, childhood obesity is rarely the child’s fault, but if you’re only treating the child, you may not have the relationship or to be able to convince the parents that fixing the problem starts by changing THEIR lifestyle, not just the lifestyle of their children.
What’s the best part so far about life in Jefferson City?
The people. I’m surrounded by great people at work, great neighbors at home, and great patients in my office. My kids love their teachers and my wife has made great friends here in a relatively short period of time. I don’t see us moving ever.