We recently sat down with Dr. Aaron Collins for a chat about his career and motivations. We thought you would enjoy his answers:
1. What made you decide to become a pediatric dentist/orthodontist? Tell me about your journey here.
I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in health care. The big decision was, do I want to go to dental shool or medical school? That decision was influenced by my partner Dr Franklin, my wife Tara and the desire to have more family/free time, and by reminiscing about my experiences at the dentist as a child.
2. Do you have any memories that stick out to you of going to the dentist as a child?
As a child, it was always a good day when my mom said she was picking me up from school to take me to the dentist. Apart from missing school, I enjoyed the actual cleaning of my teeth. It was so relaxing to me. I also enjoyed the conversation. My dentist always made me feel important. The fact that I have never had a cavity, probably adds to my positive experiences 🙂
3. How would you describe a perfect day at work?
A perfect day at work would be, regardless of the procedures performed, having parents, patients, and employees happy and exuding positive vibes.
4. Some things about your job that make you feel happy/fulfilled?
Two things that make my chosen career rewarding are 1) providing patients with a positive and memorable experience, while forming friendships that will last a lifetime. 2) This profession allows me to use my God given talents and provide service outside of my office, to those who are less fortunate and would otherwise not receive the care they deserve.
5. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
My hobbies are usually the activities that my children enjoy. I try to align my interests with theirs. Occasionally, my desires take over and my interests which include the beach, fishing, golfing, and boating win out and my family pretends to have fun.
6. What do you like about living in Austin and what brought you here?
Austin is a great place to live. I love the friendly southern hospitality. The outdoor activities around Austin are hard to beat. Austin only needs two things to make it my paradise, 1) Oceanfront 2) 85 degrees year round (yes, I actually enjoy the heat).
7. What is your goal for each patient that comes to our practice?
My goal for every patient that walks through the front door is to make them feel special and provide them with the best care available anywhere. I want them to know that everyone at Smiles of Austin/Dripping Springs cares about them as human beings. As our saying goes, “It’s so much more than teeth.”
8. Tell me about your family…Can be as simple as how many or anything else you would like to share?
I adore my family. Each of my four children are so unique in their personalities, interests, and desires. My wife Tara is so good at exploiting all of their strengths and making them feel loved. My only complaint is that they grow up too fast. I’m constantly trying to convince my wife to have more.
9. What volunteer service do you/have you participated in?
I am routinely looking for opportunities to give back. I have been blessed beyond belief in my life and I want to share my happiness with others. All volunteer service provides me with the same level of satisfaction, but one that I have been overly passionate about, is a dental clinic outside of Chennai India that my family has developed and operates. That place gives me the opportunity to forget about my needs, desires, and wants, and focus my heart and talents on others. I also try to take every opportunity to help those in our own community who suffer from and experience natural catastrophes and mishaps outside of their control.
10. Any other interesting facts about you?
Kids bring out the best in me. I feel much more comfortable around kids and teenagers in social situations than I do around people my own age. I guess I’m truly still just a kid at heart.
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