Pâ€‹utting the ‘Family’ in Family Practice
Dr. Richard Quinn speaks with obvious pride. His daughter, Julie Nies, his partner in Quinn Pediatric Dentistry of Dover for the past two years, not only went to the same dental school he did, but also completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Indiana, also like he did.
“It makes me feel good,” Quinn says, “except that she keeps bringing up the fact that she was the chief resident and I wasn’t.”
He laughs, and so does she. There was no chief residency when Quinn was at Indiana more than 40 years ago. But all families have their little jokes. Ask who got the better grade in organic chemistry as an undergrad, and Quinn will say only, “It made me a dentist.”
Nies is the youngest of Quinn’s five children—“his last hope” for another dentist, she kids. To the brood, add 15 grandchildren, the youngest being Nies’ second, and the second born since she went into practice with her father. Family practice makes family leave that much easier. And it’s reciprocated. When Quinn underwent treatment for lymphoma last year, Nies was only too happy to help her dad.
Dentistry, like other occupations, runs in families. Rob Collins of Wilmington followed his father, Dale Collins, into the field after seeing how much he enjoyed his work. Dale Collins had followed an older brother, Ron Collins. A younger brother, Gary Collins, followed both. “Once I made the decision to apply for pediatric residencies, Dad said, ‘Hey, it might be good for us to go into practice together,’” Rob Collins says. “It worked out. We do well.” As do Quinn and Nies. The fact is, many family practices don’t work out, Nies says. “But neither of us is too consumed by business considerations,” Quinn says.
Quinn Pediatric just started with its third generation of patients. Considering that Quinn was only the second pediatric dentist in Kent and Sussex, that’s not surprising. “I’m happy to be here working with my dad and continuing the legacy he’s established,” says Nies, now the third pediatric specialist in the area. “He’ll be around a few more years—in case I have more babies.”