GENERAL, GERIATRIC, & PALLIATIVE MEDICINE FACULTY PROFILE – Nat Timmins

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been at UVA for just over a year. After practicing in Colorado Springs, CO for 19 years, my wife and I moved to Charlottesville for the next chapter in our lives after “empty nesting” in the summer of 2018.

Why Healthcare?
Healthcare, for me, is a wonderful juncture of science and service. Some science feels too nebulous to me. Using scientific advances to care for my fellow humans is where I believe healthcare has such an important, practical role.

What brought you to Charlottesville?
My wife grew up in Charlottesville, and we have been visiting every year to see family and go to the beach in Sandbridge. We were looking for a new adventure as empty nesters. I had always been impressed by UVA and finally have the chance to practice at this great institution.

What excites you about your work?
I love practicing at UVA because our medical staff is very welcoming and collegial. Having daily interactions with other experts in my own field and in many different medical fields inspires me. Working in a teaching institution brings the added excitement of working with the new ideas and enthusiasm of students and learners of all levels. My position in the Palliative Care Clinic in the Cancer Center allows me every day to practice my favorite aphorism of medicine “to cure sometimes, to relieve often, and to comfort always.”

Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
Raising two daughters to adulthood. Well, close enough – they are both in college. My oldest is a Junior at the University of San Diego studying to be an occupational therapist, and my youngest is a Sophomore at Kenyon College studying anthropology and psychology.

Next life?
Forest ranger.

What are you usually doing on the weekend?
Trying to figure out how to manage (tame?) a lawn and garden in Virginia after years of xeriscaping in Colorado and California. We also like to explore the historical sites around Virginia or visit the beach. We have been landlocked in Colorado for a long time.

How did you meet your partner?
Surprisingly, we were set up by my wife’s boss. I was doing a summer project in medical school at UCSD on the health of homeless teenagers in San Diego. My wife worked as a social worker at the agency that ran a homeless shelter. Her boss had me present the findings of my research and invited my wife to attend to the “presentation.” After the presentation, the boss had all her staff leave…except my wife. Awkward but effective. We just celebrated our 24th anniversary!

Favorite vacation/activity spot?
Beaches or cruises…or better yet, both.

Most admired person, and why?
My great-grandfather, E.B. Wilson. Of course, I am biased, but he was a renaissance man and scientist of the first order. He wrote the first book on the cell, played the cello, spoke multiple languages, and traveled the world.

Best advice anyone ever gave you?
Trust but verify.

What about you would surprise us?
After living in Switzerland and California, I can understand Swiss German and speak German, French, and Spanish.

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