This eye doctor’s office is a must-see!
You may need your peepers checked after stepping into the wacky waiting room of New Jersey ophthalmologist Mark Leitman.
The hippy-dippy doctor’s East Brunswick work digs resemble a funhouse/Mardi Gras mashup, resplendent with clowns, collectibles, crystals, mannequins and other items that catch his eye.
He doesn’t worry if outsiders find his over-the-top optics an eyesore.
“If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space,” the happy-go-lucky 76-year-old quipped to The Post.
The self-described collector, originally from Laurelton, Queens, is the creative curator of jam-packed space.
“It’s everything I’ve loved over 50 years!” Leitman exclaimed, like Willy Wonka on a sugar high. “I am never unhappy!”
For decades, Leitman has added a trinket here, or a mineral there from his travels to stores, shops, and adventures abroad.
It all started with a crystal rock from Colombia that Leitman admired and brought to work. He was hooked.
“As a child I did coin collecting. But the color of the rocks really amazed me. And I have every colorful rock. Then, I moved onto shells and then I moved onto colorful feathers. I went to all the zoos. I donated to zoos and they let me go in the cage and get the feathers. If I see a bird store, I’ll ask, ‘Can I have that feather?’ ” he explained.
The doc also digs sulfur crystals he obtained from the top of a volcano on the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean Sea. “It’s always something different,” he noted.
His office floor, ceiling and walls are etched with meaty maxims like, “Happiness is treasure hunting” and “Unapologetically Bohemian.”
“You know who gets it? Collectors,” Leitman explained. “This is not a free ride. It takes a lot of effort!”
The zany office belies Leitman’s bonafides: He completed ophthalmic training at Albert Einstein Medical School, where he was chief resident, and authored a book on eye examination and diagnosis while in med school that is now in its 10th edition and translated into nine languages.
His employees see eye-to-eye with their boss.
“Dr. Leitman calls it a jewelry box of everything. It’s just a fun house, a fun place. I love it. The kids [patients] love it,” gushed loyal receptionist Terry Hadzimichalis, who has been working with the good doctor for over 25 years.
“He’s one of a kind. When I first came here, it was like, wow,” said Joann Anderson, the eye doctor’s tech and billing person. “He has a great imagination. He likes colorful things.”
First-time patients have been known to walk in the front door and reverse field when they encounter the sensory assault. “They walk out, then call us and ask, ‘Where are you?’ [located],” Anderson laughed.
Not everyone thinks Leitman is a visionary.
“Patients will come in and complain [about the optic overload] and you know what I think when someone complains?” the eye-doc asked. “Oh my god, can you imagine living with that person!”