Main Street eye care practice marks 50th year
Lots of people have a favorite doctor. Only a few, though, go as far as naming their child after that doctor.
However, that’s what happened to retired Newark ophthalmologist Dr. Joshua Kalin. Years ago, one of his patients named her son Kalin Joshua, the doctor recalled this week.
Perhaps it’s that sense of loyalty that has sustained Kalin’s Kelway Plaza office, now run by his son, Neil, and marking its 50th anniversary this year.
Neil Kalin said he still sees many of his father’s former patients.
“Some of them saw him, and now I see their kids,” he said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t see somebody there’s a connection to. That’s how it is in New Castle County.”
After completing his residency in New Orleans, the elder Kalin moved to Newark, settled his family in Fairfield and opened his practice in 1967 in the Windy Hills Professional Center on Capitol Trail. He chose Newark because it was close to Philadelphia, where he had family.
In 1982, the practice moved to its current location in Main Street’s Kelway Plaza, and Neil joined the family business in 1995. He worked side-by-side with his dad, who gradually cut back his involvement before retiring in 2000.
Neil was always interested in science, particularly biology, but admitted that he didn’t grow up dreaming of taking over his dad’s practice.
“I wouldn’t say I was fascinated by trips to the office,” he said.
However, the 1982 Newark High graduate went to medical school at Emory University and while trying out different fields of medicine, he found that he gravitated toward ophthalmology, an advanced field of eye care that includes eye surgery in addition to basic eye exams.
“As I learned more about it, it got exciting,” he said.
His dad asked him to return to Newark and join the practice.
“He said, ‘If you don’t like it, you can leave, but at least try it,’” he recalled. “The rest is history, as they say.”
The elder Kalin said he’s proud his son not only took over the business but developed a good reputation of his own.
“It’s very gratifying. It makes me feel good he followed in my footsteps,” he said. “What could be better?”
Dr. Neil Kalin poses in his Kelway Plaza office. The ophthalmology practice, started by Kalin’s father, marks its 50th anniversary this year.