I can't feel my hands at all. Or my feet. Or anything really. The 3 millimeters of exposed skin on my face is definitely frost bitten, and my runny nose has instantly turned into an abstract ice sculpture. As I heave another load of snow from the driveway to the snow bank, I can't help but hear the question that so many of my friends who live in more desirable locations always ask: "Why in the world would you want to live in Rochester, MN?!?" which has forced me to think. Is it the 12 foot snow drifts, the 9 months of darkness, and the -70 degree wind chills? Or is it the swarms of mosquitoes that always find a way to invite themselves to nearly all summer events? Why do I live in Rochester? The reason is simple - I love Rochester.
It's a city full of life, love, spirit and diversity. We have the perfect city to raise a family and the best medical care in the world is right at our fingertips. It's a safe place, and rather than complain about the cold, we embrace it. We play hockey and ice skate. We snow shoe. We ski. We even create martini glasses out of ice and have a big winter festival. I truly believe that Rochester is the best city in the world, and it's because of the people that make up this city. So I would pose another question back to my friends - "Why in the world WOULDN'T I want to live in Rochester, MN!?!"
I am originally from Rochester, and grew up here for the majority of my childhood. I had a chance to attend Sunset Terrace Elementary, John Adams Middle School, Kellogg Middle School, and eventually Century High School. I understand the school system and what intense pressure the students face in such a highly educated community. I can relate to families who place a lot of importance on their kids not missing school. I get it. I was there too. I understand this community. I am so lucky to have grown up in a safe, encouraging, and compassionate community that fosters an environment of learning and development. I also understand that Rochester is a city of specialists, and the expectation is that medical care is provided by the best of the best. If you need ACL reconstructive knee surgery, you don't see your general physician. Heck, you don't even see just any orthopedic surgeon. You see the ACL knee specialist within the orthopedic surgery department. That's the type of care in which I have received for my various sports injuries, and it is exactly the type of orthodontic specialty care in which I provide to others. Our community deserves and expects only the best.
So having had the opportunity to train at Mayo Clinic for my residency in Orthodontics, my decision to live and open Collins Orthodontics in Rochester was a no-brainer. I understand the people of this community, and I feel as if I can contribute in ways in which this community can relate and appreciate. Our clinic does just that. We have set up a clinic schedule that includes appointment options Monday through Friday, with early morning, lunch hour, and evening appointments available so your kids do not have to miss school, or you don't have to miss work. We are in a location that is safe and visible, easily accessible to both people who live in Rochester and those who live in surrounding communities. Knowing that Rochester is a city of specialists in which our community demands specialty care, I completed an additional 3 year residency in orthodontics after dental school in order to be able to provide high quality orthodontic care, including all types of braces, clear braces and Invisalign. I understand what makes Rochester a unique and wonderful place, and I fully intend to contribute to this city in any way I can.
Outside of orthodontics, we are here to make the city a better place. We are proud sponsors of many community events, such as the Orcas, Triton Triathlon, multiple 5K races, RYSA scholarships for children who cannot afford soccer registration fees, sponsorships of those who cannot afford orthodontic care, and we are just getting started.
This city has given so much to me. I've received a fantastic education, a wonderful experience with family and community, and specialty care second to none. It's my turn to have the opportunity to give back to the same community in which has provided so much to me. I don't drive here 1-2 days per week just to have a business. I live here. I'm ready to make Rochester a better place…I'm ready to help make Rochester the type of city which will cause others to also ask the question, "Why wouldn't you want to live in Rochester, MN?!?!"
About the Author: Grant C. Collins, DDS, MS, is a Mayo Clinic trained Orthodontist who is the owner and orthodontist at Collins Orthodontics. He currently resides with his wife and son in Rochester, MN. He is a proud member of the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Association, Zumbro Valley Dental Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, National Dental Honor Society, and Omicron Kappa.