Some seeds are planted early in life, and then grow into beautiful blooms when the time is right.
For Dr. Shaun Pati, an experience in his childhood led unexpectedly to a career that he loves – and that has now brought him full circle back to Burnaby.
He was just six years old when his mother was in a car accident that left her with eye injuries from broken glass. Shaun accompanied his mother to countless visits to a local optometrist, Dr. Tony Wang, who helped her fully regain her eyesight. The family continued with Dr. Wang as patients in the coming years.
The experience left him with a fascination for the science of sight and the medicine of optometry.
“It really changed me, and I became so interested in how the eye worked, how optometry helped people,” he said. “We were patients of his for a long time – he even gave me my first eye glasses.”
Shaun later moved to the US to study at a university in Oregon, where he met his future wife, and became a Doctor of Optometry in 2015. The next year, by sheer chance, he bumped into Dr. Wang at a conference in Vancouver.
“We started talking and catching up and fast forward one year, we teamed up and I bought his practice and moved here,” he said.
Dr. Wang continues to work part time with Shaun, along with a growing team of doctors and staff, now under the name Real Eyes Optometry.
“We have a wonderful group here, honest and trustworthy and always putting the practice first – this team is really like part of the family,” he said.
Everyone at the clinic has a focus on not just providing top-notch patient care but also education and customer service.
“We want everyone who comes here to feel well informed and educated, that the whole experience was positive and informative, and well taken care of,” he said. “Excellence means that a patient here knows they’ve been treated with respect, they understand what’s happening, and if they need to get glasses or other items that they can get them with a fair price and helpful service.”
Shaun says his focus on education includes both in-person – talking to patients when they are in the office – but also offering resources and information online through his website.
“That digital transformation is important in this field too, so we’re creating ways for people to learn more online,” he said.
“People can connect with us online, make appointments and get information and education there, too.”
Located in Metrotown, the office is a central location for patients in Burnaby and beyond, with a full spectrum of services from eye exams through eyeglass and contact sales. Shaun says many new patients find them through the recommendation of family and friends, and it’s always rewarding to hear that their reputation is growing. “We have many loyal patients who we see regularly but we love to see new patients and we encourage people to come to us when they have anything going on with their eyes at all,” he said. All too often, people will attend a family physician first for eye conditions, only to be referred back to an optometrist. “That’s what we’re here for, whether it’s redness or an infection or any other thing going on with your eyes, we hold our medical eye care to an extremely high standard, and we want people to know we are here for them.”
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