Dr. Collins Returns to UVMC in New Role
After a two-year absence, a long-time Piqua family doctor is back in practice in Miami County, providing minor care at the Upper Valley Medical Center Emergency Department.
Dr. Don Collins joined UVMC and Premier Health Partners in October as a minor care physician. He oversees the efforts of physician assistants, as required by state law, who are assigned to patients directed to the department's minor care area. Dr. Collins was in family practice in Piqua for 23 years before deciding in 2006 he wanted a more flexible schedule and more time off. He left the family practice for a job with the Veterans Administration outpatient clinic in Lima.
He said the work was an interesting experience and he was honored to be able to provide that care. However, it was a long drive and involved long daily schedules. When an opportunity closer to his home in Piqua became available at UVMC, he pursued it.
"It is a very good team of nurses, physician assistants and doctors who work together in the emergency room. I knew this when I was in practice and had no hesitance about coming back," he said.
As the physician overseeing minor care, Dr. Collins checks each patient handled by a physician assistant as well as providing patient care as time allows. The addition of his position came, in part, to help speed the flow of patients through the minor care department. Before Dr. Collins joined the staff, physician assistants had to ask the doctors handling patients with more serious needs in the emergency department to review patient care.
"They tell me the flow has already improved greatly because I am here and they (physician assistants) don't have to go to the other side," he said. The minor care side of the emergency department provides "urgent care" type services for patients who have something too serious for the doctor's office such as a bleeding laceration requiring stitches, a fracture requiring X-rays and a cast or splint, or illness they believe cannot wait until the next day.
"I think it works very well because we have the resources here if it is something more serious," Dr. Collins said of the minor care concept. "Miami County is fortunate to have that kind of system available," he said.
Dr. Collins said becoming a physician was a natural for him because it combined an interest in science and a desire to help people. Family practice medicine was attractive because of the "breadth of what is seen," he said. The emergency department work continues to provide that variety. "It certainly is interesting. No two days are alike," Dr. Collins said. "It means something to be able to provide care to people you know."
A Miami East High School graduate, Dr. Collins graduated from The Ohio State University and its medical college. His residency in family practice was done at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Piqua and have three adult children. The couple is involved in the Mid County Church of Christ in Troy, and he volunteers monthly at the county health clinic.