Doc making house calls in Memphis to fix backs
During an interview with the Daily a decade ago, a reporter asked Maurice Tucker, then a high school senior, what he wanted to do in life.
"Be a doctor," the 1997 West Morgan High graduate replied.
Call it mission accomplished for Tucker.
He began work in Memphis in May after completing a three-year program at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas.
While the road was uneven, he remained on it.
"I'm a traveling doctor. I go to you directly and treat you," he said, from his cell phone after stopping at a patient's home. "So far, so good, but there's nothing like having your own space and own office."
Tucker, 28, isn't reverting to a time when doctors made house calls. It's just that workers are renovating his office on the Bluff City's Poplar Avenue. He expects to reopen Jan. 2.
"This way, I'm still able to be connected, to keep my clientele," he said. "It's all about meeting the patients at their need."
Venturing out isn't new to Tucker. He met his bride, Constance Scarbrough of Tacoma, Wash., on eHarmony.com.
"I decided to do something different," he said of online dating. "It was very intense. We went through the process, and they matched us up. I sent her e-mail. She responded. We didn't look back."
They married Sept. 8 in Memphis, on the 18th floor terrace of the Madison Hotel.
A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, she earned a master's degree at the University of Iowa.
She is a mentor coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis.
Always a straight-ahead guy, Tucker ran track at West Morgan, played basketball and marched as a percussionist in the band five years.
But science and math pulled him forward. He "sort of wanted to be a doctor" most of his life, from a child of 8 or 9, when he'd try to sew up torn stuffed animals.
"I was always interested in science and how the body works," he said.
He earned an academic and band scholarship to Alabama A&M University. He transferred to the University of Memphis, where he was on academic scholarship two years, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and microbiology.
"We look at the overall health of the nervous system, checking to see if everything is in balance, if you have the proper curvature of your spine. If we find areas out of alignment, we adjust them," he said.
Tucker said it isn't like chiropractors give a pain pill and the pain is gone. "That isn't really treating the cause, it's treating the symptom," he said.
Tucker's success doesn't surprise Rochelle Biffle, who taught him chemistry and physics for two years at West Morgan.
"He always strove for excellence, always asking questions," said Biffle, who now teaches at Priceville High School. "He would always have goals that he would want to reach. He'd set them and go for them. He was one of my lab assistants his senior year."
Tucker, who started playing piano at 13, said Memphis, with its famed Beale Street, has always struck a sweet sound for him. "When I was in school here, I made a lot of connections," he said, pulling up for his next appointment."
And he likes the short drive to Decatur for visits with his mom and other relatives.
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