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Howard Retires After Nearly Four-Decade Career

Howard Retires After Nearly Four-Decade Career

Malin Howard, a fixture in Howard County ophthalmology for nearly four decades, is set to retire from the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine on September 1.

Howard came from a family of ophthalmologists; both his father and grandfather practiced in the field. As he pursued his undergraduate training, Howard spent two years in the Air Force as a flight surgeon.

His professional experience began where he completed his ophthalmology residency, at the University of Rochester. But it wasn’t long after that when he came to Howard County — specifically, Columbia — in 1984. For 20 years, he worked at Patuxent Medical Group, and for all but one, David Glasser worked with him.

The group dissolved in 2004 when Howard and Glasser started their own practice in Columbia. In 2015, they sold the practice to The Johns Hopkins University, and the duo continued to work together until Glasser retired in 2018. “Malin has always been one of the most conscientious, patient-centered, straight-shooting, straightforward and highly ethical physicians I’ve known,” Glasser says.

Glasser says Howard has continued to find joy in being able to interact with patients and surgically correct their vision. “The whole idea of restoring a patient’s sight, we tend to lose some of our idealism as time goes by,” Glasser says. “But I don’t think he ever lost that spark, that love for being able to [help someone] see better.”

Even before they began working together in 2016, Dean Glaros, chief of Wilmer Eye Institute — Columbia, was no stranger to Howard’s work. Glaros, with about 30 years of experience in Howard County of his own, knew Howard was a skilled surgeon based on the patients he saw who had previously had surgery with Howard. “Everybody knows after a certain number of years who the excellent surgeons are, and Dr. Howard’s patients always looked great,” he says. “I knew the quality of his work was excellent.”

Once they became co-workers, Glaros got to witness Howard’s work firsthand. He describes Howard as “the consummate old-school doctor who is very in tune with the profession he signed up with.”

Glaros says Howard is caring, committed and down to earth. “He understands the priorities of medicine, and he’s centered on the care of the patient in every way,” he says. “He doesn’t rush through eye exams, and he’ll take as long as he needs with each patient.”

His colleagues say Howard hasn’t lost his passion for the job or dedication to his patients. Glasser says Howard was always willing to try something new and adapt to the latest and greatest ways of work, while Glaros says he has always stayed current as a physician. “As recently as today, I saw him carrying a journal around,” Glaros said during an interview in July. “It’s obvious to me that he enjoys the field of ophthalmology, even at this point in his career.”

Sherry Narang Kalla, an instructor of ophthalmology at Wilmer, worked with Howard since 2013 when she joined him and Glasser at their private practice. She says Howard has been a supportive colleague and that he is someone she could always seek feedback from if there was a difficult situation.

Narang Kalla describes Howard as kind and helpful, never condescending and always dedicated to his patients. “I think it’s going to be a big loss in the ophthalmology field, but I think we’re all thankful he’s been dedicated to the field for the last 30-plus years,” she says. “He’s been of great service to all of us.”

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