Get to Know Jennifer Phillips, ND of Merchantville Medical Wellness Center
Dr. Jennifer Phillips is a naturopathic physician at Merchantville Medical Wellness Center, in Merchantville, New Jersey. She recently expanded her practice to include integrative and functional medicine, acupuncture and aesthetic medicine. She also plans to add IV nutrition in the next couple of months.
How would you summarize naturopathic medicine?
It’s the study of medicine as it pertains to the function of the human body and its systems with an emphasis on investigation of the underlying cause of disease in order to find the best way to reverse disease processes.
What are the primary benefits to your patients?
As we investigate and fix the underlying cause of illness and dysfunction, the patient looks forward to getting better ... not just from the current symptoms but also in other ways they may not have imagined. And since we are correcting dysfunction (not just masking it with medication), prevention of further dysfunction and disease is a natural result.
What inspired you and why did you decide to enter this field?
Working in a continuing care center during my pre-med undergraduate schooling allowed me to learn about the human condition, aging process, hospitals and long-term care management (or mismanagement). This inspired me to want to prevent the inevitable “medication factory” that is long-term care.
How long have you been in practice and what areas of specialty interest you?
I’ve had 20-plus years in naturopathic practice and am still learning from every patient that I see. My biggest interest is women’s health, but this extends to families which ultimately includes men and children.
What makes what you do unique, and how has your practice evolved?
I am able to communicate with a wide variety of personality types. I am careful not to overwhelm my patients with recommendations or judgments. Patient compliance is of great importance to me. My practice has evolved away from testing for “end result” issues like food allergies to testing for nutritional deficiencies and digestive function as “root cause” issues that would result in food allergies, for example.
What is/are the most rewarding aspects of your practice?
My patients get better!
How would you answer someone that is skeptical?
I would ask them to call me when they are ready to get better and not just get by (on medication).
What do you most want Natural Awakenings readers to know about you and your approach?
It takes time and dedication to get healthy. I do not fix patients with diet and supplements. It is the patient’s own responsibility to fix themselves with the tools that I may introduce. So, it takes a special type of patient to want to make and meet their own health goals.
Tell us a “fun fact” about you!
I used to teach belly dance.
Merchantville Medical Wellness Center is located at 5 West Chestnut Ave., in Merchantville. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 856-488-7067 or visit MerchantvilleMedicalWellnessCenter.com.