R. Deaver Collins, Jr, MD, is a Nashville native and second-generation graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School. He was also educated at Amherst, Yale, and finally the University of Alabama at Birmingham for his fellowship in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology.


During his 35-year career in Mississippi, Dr. Collins served as the president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation; a physician for the Honduras Medical Mission for the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi; and the Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Chief of the Medical Staff at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center.


Dr. Collins and his wife, Rebecca, are happy to return to Middle Tennessee, where their son and daughter live with their families. He is a member of Christ Church Cathedral and Old Oak Club and enjoys hiking and canoeing.


  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society
  • Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • Elected Fellow, American College of Physicians
  • Recipient, American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (for commitment to continuing education)
  • Voted to Nashville’s Top Docs list 2015 – 2018

“Having learned from watching both of my physician grandfathers care for their patients, I was inspired to become a physician by the example of my father, who taught generations of physicians during his 50-year career at Vanderbilt University Medical School, my alma mater. He asked every new class the definition of the word ‘Doctor,’ which means, in Latin, ‘to teach.’”


Lizzie McCrary, LPN


A native Tennessean, Lizzie has been part of Dr. Collins’ clinical team for the past five years. She graduated from Tennessee Tech as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Lizzie is dedicated to the patients of Dr. Collins and Nashville Arthritis & Rheumatology and believes a positive patient experience truly makes a difference. In her spare time, she enjoy reading, gardening, the outdoors, and especially time with her family—her husband, Donnie, their son, and their treasured four-legged children Sally, Hubcat, Piper, Chief, and Rowdy.

Erik Dempsey


Erik joined the Nashville Arthritis & Rheumatology team in 2017 as the Front Desk Administrator and Medical Assistant. He was born in Kansas City, however has enjoyed living in Utah, Colorado and California; and, now, considers Middle Tennessee his home. He and his partner have been in the Nashville area the past two years with their two four-legged jewels, Piper & Abby. In his spare time, Erik enjoys reading, exercising, traveling and the outdoors.


  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gout & Pseudogout
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Myositis
  • Osteoporosis


  • Full rheumatology evaluation for diagnosis
  • Diagnostic ultrasound for evaluating inflammation
  • Therapeutic injections of joints and tendons
  • In house administration of subcutaneous treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Assessment and treatment of osteoporosis to reduce and minimize fracture risk
  • Opportunity to participate in studies of new medications


2001 Charlotte Avenue
Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37203

p: 629.702.2086
f: 629.800.5994


Monday – Thursday: 7am – 4pm

Friday: 7am – 12pm