An internist has joined the medical staff of Johnston Health.
Dr. Nicole Collins of Wake Forest is opening a full-time practice in the Johnston Medical Mall in Smithfield. She welcomes adults of all ages, particularly older adults.
“I’m a comprehensive physician,” she said. “I’m big on preventive health, but I’m equally concerned about my patient’s mental health and social well-being.”
Before coming to Johnston Health, Collins was in practice for 12 years in Louisburg with two other internists. “I loved my patients,” she said. “I’m looking forward to establishing those kinds of relationships here too.”
Collins received her bachelor’s degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and her medical degree from Pennsylvania State University.
She completed a two-year residency in internal medicine at the University of South Carolina. After another year of residency in internal medicine, she completed a year-long fellowship in geriatric medicine at what is now Vidant Hospital in Greenville.
She is board certified in internal medicine.
Collins grew up in Philadelphia and says she knew by age 5 that she wanted to be a doctor. In high school, she was signing “Dr.” in front of her name in her classmates’ yearbooks. “It’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said.
It wasn’t until her final year of medical school, however, that she chose internal medicine and discovered a passion for working with older adults.
During her years of practice, Collins says, she’s seen increasing numbers of patients with dementia and, as patients live longer at home, more falls. So she works particularly hard at getting families involved in watching and caring for their aging parents.
“Thankfully, there’s a sense of community in small towns where neighbors grow old together,” she said. “We have many conversations about people taking care of one another.”
Collins makes time to talk with patients about advance directives too. “There’s nothing worse than when something happens and loved ones have the burden of making decisions,” she said. “If you say what your desires are, then others can better accept and deal with it.”
Collins is married to Jeff Johnson. They have two children, ages 10 and 8.
To schedule an appointment at Johnston Medical Associates Internal Medicine, call 919-938-7187.