Originally from Miami, Florida, Dr. Dollinger obtained her undergraduate degree from Auburn University and attended medical school at the University of Miami. She completed her internship at Tallahassee Regional Memorial Hospital. This was followed by residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School where she was elected chief resident and served on the faculty for one year after her residency program. She and her husband, Eric, moved to the Raleigh area in 1986. They have two sons, Lance and Brent.