Michael Collins MD


Michael “Micky” Collins, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned expert in sports-related concussion. A leading clinician and researcher, Dr. Collins serves as director and a founding member of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Established in 2000, it was the first program of its kind; more than a decade later, it remains the largest research and clinical program focused on the assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, research and education of sports-related mild traumatic brain injury in athletes of all levels. Dr. Collins’ expertise attracts elite and professional athletes from around the world seeking the comprehensive care he provides and the multidisciplinary approach he helped to introduce. The program has roughly 20,000 patient visits annually at six different locations across Pittsburgh. Dr. Collins and his UPMC program colleagues attract patients embodying youth, high-school, collegiate and pro athletes with concerns about safe return to play and clinical management and treatment of sports concussion. 

Besides his extensive clinical experience, Dr. Collins also has been a lead author and investigator on numerous groundbreaking studies of high-school and college athletes published in JAMA, Neurosurgery, American Journal of Sports Medicine and Pediatrics, among many others.  He has been the lead author or co-author on more than 110 peer-reviewed research articles, and has delivered more than 450 presentations at national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Collins currently has upward of $10 million in funding for his research efforts from entities including the NFL-GE Head Health Challenge, National Institute of Health, Major League Baseball, and the United State Army Special Operations Command. 

Dr. Collins has been an instrumental source across the nation in developing concussion-management policy in youth sports, state legislation on youth safety, the Centers for Disease Control’s concussion toolkit, and pioneering targeted treatment pathways for his patients. He is a co-founder of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), the most widely used computerized sports-concussion evaluation system that has become a standard of care in nearly all organized sports at all levels. As a result, he is a leader in educating and implementing the proper usage of such baseline and post-injury neurocognitive testing as one tool to help determine an injury’s severity and recovery for safe return to play. More recently, Dr. Collins was the Meeting Chairman for the Targeted Evaluation and Active Management (TEAM) Approach to Treating Concussion. This meeting was held in Pittsburgh in October, 2015 and was the first focused meeting regarding treatment of sports-related concussion. Underwritten by the NFL, this meeting resulted in the first published white paper on treatment of concussion, published in Neurosurgery

In addition to training thousands of physicians and certified athletic trainers in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of sports-related concussion, he advises and is a consultant to numerous athletic organizations and teams – including the NFL Steelers, the NHL Penguins, other NFL teams, numerous MLB clubs,  and several NCAA programs. He serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Sports Neurology. Dr. Collins is also on the editorial board of such publications as Brain Injury Professional and the Journal of Athletic Training.

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology in 1991, Dr. Collins earned a master’s degree in psychology in 1995 and doctorate degree in clinical psychology in 1998 at Michigan State University.

Among numerous national and international honors over the past decade, Dr. Collins was named an Irish-America Healthcare and Life Sciences Top 50 Honoree in 2014. In 2010, he received the National Council on Brain Injury annual award for outstanding research and advocacy. In 2009, he was bestowed the Kenneth L. Knight Award for outstanding research. In 2007, the National Academy of Neuropsychology honored him with the Annual Butters Award. An athlete himself, Dr. Collins played in the 1989 NCAA Baseball College World Series.