A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Collier majored in both biology and Spanish. She credits her love for the foreign language to both her grandfather and to teachers she had in grades K-12. “My grandfather...speaks Spanish fluently and was even a Spanish teacher before becoming a lawyer. I was able to start picking up the language from a young age and continued to study it in school. I saw an opportunity to serve a greater community by learning another language. I hope that my experience with the language and culture will help me to be a better physician for my patients.”
During her sophomore year of college, Collier studied abroad in Costa Rica, shadowing a local hospital in the town of San Ramon. While assisting with physical therapy exercises, watching live births and observing several different surgical specialties, she was able to directly interact with patients and local healthcare workers. “My experience was amazing, to say the least.”
That experience in Costa Rica, which offers universal healthcare to its citizens, reinforced her belief that healthcare should be a right. “I was privileged to have access to healthcare throughout my life, but for some people in our country that is not the case. I hope that as a future physician I can use my voice, my vote, and my platform to help move our healthcare system towards a better future.”
Collier -- her mother is a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company and her father works in the tech industry -- says she chose to attend the UNLV School of Medicine because she “connected with the mission statement of the school….Nevada has been my home for many years and the UNLV School of Medicine is fiercely devoted to serving the state and especially underrepresented groups.”
Though she misses much of the in-person study at the medical school because of COVID-19, Collier says the emphasis on virtual technology could translate to better care for patients. “I think one positive thing that may come out of this pandemic is an emphasis on telemedicine. This can make providers more accessible to their patients. Transportation to appointments can be a huge barrier for patients. In the future, more providers will now be able to assess patients without having them come in person.”
The emphasis on volunteer work during medical school is something Collier has long embraced. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, she was very active at C. P. Squires Elementary School, helping students with homework and art and outdoor activities. “Volunteering at Squires was always the best part of my week.” Her volunteerism was particularly on display during her undergraduate years, as she helped raise $60,000 for Renown Hospital in Reno -- the hospital she credits with saving her brother’s life -- by organizing dance marathon fundraisers.
To this day, Collier, who was elected treasurer of her medical school class, is frequently asked how she was named “Paris.”
“My parents said they wanted to give me a somewhat unique name. They dreamed of getting to travel the world someday. They got the idea to look at an atlas for names. They fell in love with the name Paris and the rest was history.”