Meet the Diligent Physician Assistant, Collin
Collin is a diligent Physician Assistant, skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide array of patients. His dedication to perpetual learning and improvement is an integral part of his success in transforming the lives of his patients.
Upon graduating and excelling in the workforce, Collin made the realization that his passion for preventative, lifestyle medicine was not being fulfilled. This led to him seeking further education in the realm of Functional Medicine and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, where he thrives.
Collin’s foundational knowledge of nutrition and exercise fundamentals is the backbone of his treatment plans. He is a provider that truly practices what he preaches.
In his free time, he loves to provide value on social media by educating people on the fundamentals of health and nutrition. He can be found on Twitter @ColliNof1.
For more information about Collin, visit the website here.
Today, we sit down with Collin to discuss his entrepreneurial journey and learn about his experience.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur — how did you get to where you are today?
Collin: I guess it all started back in high school when I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. I was back and forth between engineering and medical school when my older brother’s girlfriend told me about her work as a physician assistant.
It sounded like a good deal and a lot more flexible than being an M. D., so I thought it was a happy medium. The reason I was interested in health in the first place was nutrition and exercise, but I looked into it and it doesn’t make you much money. Becoming a P. A. would allow me to do what I wanted and still make a good living.
So, I did my undergraduate portion and went to graduate school, which was intensive medical training. But then I started to realize I wasn’t super into it. It was a lot of memorizing slides and knowing what pills to give based on symptoms. When I studied for exams, I’d always end up researching herbal remedies, biohacking, and all these things they weren’t teaching me.
Q. When did things turn around for you?
Collin: It was when I started the clinical portion of the program that there was a shift for me. That’s when you do rotations through multiple specialties to see what you like. That was a rough patch for me.
I had invested so much time and money in this, and I was deep into my degree, but I didn’t want to see patients for 5 minutes, prescribe something, push them out the door, and move on to the next patient. It was so surface-level and there was no talk about nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress management, or any of the things I was interested in.
So, I started looking into functional medicine, integrative medicine, and all these other alternatives. I received poor offers because I didn’t have enough experience yet, so I had to give up on my dream for a short period of time. I didn’t have many options and I took the first thing I could get, which was a job in surgery. I worked in that for 2.5 years to pay the bills and the entire time I was looking for a way out.
I was networking, going to conferences, shadowing functional medicine doctors, etc. My resume wasn’t much, but I knew if I could talk to them, I would be able to show them my knowledge. Finally, I found a really good clinic that gave me the opportunity and I’ve been doing what I love ever since.
Q. Why do you think the approach was so surface-level?
Collin: Well, this is going to sound like I’m a conspiracy theorist, but it’s probably due to money. It’s hard not to think that the system works the way it works because of money when you see how much insurance and pharmaceutical companies are making.
People who go into the health industry say they want people to be healthy and I think it’s true. They go into it with good intentions and to help people, but that’s not how the system is designed. So, even if you have the best of intentions, you get stuck in this model of prescribing pharmaceuticals so the insurance companies can get a kickback and pharmaceutical companies can make a profit.
Q. Can you tell us about a time when you helped someone get out of a dire situation with these alternative methods?
Collin: I have a lot of stories but I’m thinking about one in particular. There was this woman in her late 30s or early 40s, who came in with excessive fatigue. She wanted to get her hormones checked, so we did that. We also did her blood work and checked her entire medical history.
Turns out she was on a blood pressure medication that’s actually a beta blocker, so it can be used for several things. She was taking it for migraines. She saw a neurologist at some point and they thought she had a seizure, but it was never confirmed by an EEG. The neurologist just thought she had seizures so he prescribed that to prevent them as well as the chronic migraines she was having. One of the main side effects is fatigue and weight gain.
Based on the blood work, her thyroid function wasn’t optimal, so we decided to slowly taper off the beta blocker she didn’t actually need and get her started on a natural thyroid hormone supplement. She got so much better and she can’t praise us enough for giving her back her energy and eliminating her migraines. She even shed the weight she’d gained. I have a lot of stories like that!
Q. Based on your knowledge and experience, what are a couple of things people can do to positively impact their health?
Collin: Well, since I’m in America, the biggest thing people can do is stop eating the standard American diet. I might be biased because I focus a lot on nutrition, but the average people have no idea what they put in their bodies and it’s insane. I don’t blame them, though, because there’s a lot of confusion around it and not enough education.
Additionally, there’s a lot of misinformation. You know, our current Health Advisor is saying that obesity is uncontrollable. It’s genetic and there’s nothing you can do about it. I recently read that Lucky Charms are somehow healthier than steak and eggs. That’s just off the top of my head.
There’s all this contradictory information coming from all directions. You shouldn’t eat carbs. No, you should. Saturated fats are horrible for you. Actually, no, they’re not that bad. You should have a vegan diet, it’s the best. No, keto is better. And on and on it goes. People don’t know how to sort through all of that
Not to plug my own products, but I have an ebook on this very topic and I dig into all of this. I also provide good resources to help people understand nutrition better because it’s one of the biggest pieces of the health puzzle.
Stress management is also essential. There are a lot of stressors out there and it’s important to take care of ourselves. Stress is detrimental to our health, so it needs to be managed. Improving your sleep is an effective way to reduce stress levels. Cutting out stressors as much as possible is also effective. Eating organic, using natural products without as many chemicals, reducing blue light exposure before bed, etc.
Q. Could you give us the Cliff Notes version of physiognomy?
Collin: I’m glad you brought it up because I love talking about physiognomy, which consists of assessing someone’s personality, motives, and who they are based on their facial features. It’s very esoteric and there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to back it up. There’s research on it, but it’s not evidence-based.
I really believe in physiognomy and I’m sure we’ve all practiced it without knowing. For example, I’m sure you’ve met someone who just glows with this amazing energy. You just want to talk to them because they’re so excited and positive, it just shows up on their face. Their posture, their skin, their facial expression, etc., everything about them shows you how positive they are.
It’s the opposite for people who have really bad energy or are going through something. They don’t tend to have good posture, their skin is not in the best shape, etc. It’s very intuitive, you can just tell. This is kind of controversial in the era of body acceptance, but it’s not about beauty, it’s just about what your body can communicate about who you are.
We’re initially attracted to others for a very specific reason, whether we’re aware of it or not. It could be symmetry, how healthy and strong they look, etc. For example, my wife’s face is very symmetric and she’s beautiful. So, at a biological and evolutionary level, my brain is going “I want to advance my genetics with that woman”. That’s part of the attraction.
Q. What’s a one-sentence piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to achieve optimal health and physique in 2023?
Collin: Live like your great, great grandparents. Connect with your ancestry. What did they eat 50 or 100 years ago? For example, I’m Irish and Dutch, so I called the oldest people in my family and just asked what I should be eating. They said I should eat more potatoes, fruit, and meat, and drink more milk.
I think there needs to be more of a happy medium between modernity and maintaining some of the ancient customs around food and lifestyle. People didn’t go to the gym, they did all these physical activities, and ate foods made with fresh ingredients that had no chemicals or GMOs. I think we should mimic that as much as possible.
To keep up with Collin and his journey, follow his on his Twitter.