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Ann Collins, PA-C, is a physician assistant with the Division of Infectious Diseases. It is her goal to learn more about HIV and contribute to the research that improves the lives of those living with HIV. Outside of work, Anne is a mom and lover of all things outdoors.

What brought you to UNC Medical Center?

I wanted to return to an academic center with more opportunity for learning and growth. I have worked in plastic and reconstructive surgery, general surgery, family medicine and now infectious diseases.

Where are you from?

I grew up partly in northern Virginia, partly in Connecticut.

Did you always want to be a physician assistant?

I’m not sure I understood what the profession was until after college when I was working in the neurosurgery department of an academic medical center. I considered various healthcare professions but chose to return to school to become a physician assistant after my father, an internal medicine physician, recommended it to me.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

Getting to know and connect with patients.

What are some of the new developments in your field of specialty?

In HIV treatment, longer acting medications have recently been approved for clinical care. Clinical trials are looking at other long-acting options for treatment, prevention and cure of HIV.

Is there a particular achievement (professional or personal) that has been most gratifying to you?

Continuing to work as a PA (in Family Medicine at the time) while pregnant and after my children were born. It improved my ability to care for children and their parents as patients. It was a difficult time for me but I am grateful for what I learned and how I grew during that time both personally and professionally.

If you weren’t a physician assistant, what would you like to be doing?

Probably a social worker, which is one of the other career paths I considered early on.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Being outdoors—biking, hiking, walking, running, or just sitting.

Do you have a favorite quote or life motto?

Be present.

What was the last book you read?

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker