From patient to practitioner

Justin
Justin Crann
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Primary Eye Care has been a recurring setting in Shawn Lins’ life.

Shawn Lins poses with an OptoMap — a device that allows optometrists to study the retina of a patient's eye to see issues that would not otherwise be visible — at Primary Eye Care on Thursday. Lins, born and raised in Moose Jaw, studied optometry in Waterloo and has returned to the Friendly City to practice.

When he was younger, Lins — who is nearsighted — was a patient of the optometry clinic.

A few summers ago, he interned there on his way to a degree in the field.

Now, the born-and-bred Moose Javian has come back home from Waterloo, Ont. — where he studied optometry — to join the practice as an optometrist in his own right.

He said he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve always had a supervisor backing me up throughout school, but now I’m on my own,” Lins told the Times-Herald on Thursday. “I love it.”

Working in the community he grew up in could present some challenges. Among them would be having to tell a friend or acquaintance some bad news about their eyes.

“I have thought about that,” said Lins. “You never want to be the one to give anybody some bad news, and it might be somebody you know. It’s in the back of my mind, but I’ll always be professional about it. I have to handle it.”

He added that he’s ready to take advantage of the “awesome opportunity” he has been given as a practitioner at the clinic he crew up as a patient of, and dealing with the “mixed bag” of patients who might come in.

“That’s one of the cool things about this job: everybody is so varied. You can get some really easy patients and you can get some trickier ones,” said Lins. “You never know who’s going to be sitting in your chair on any given day.… I’m looking forward to it.”

Find Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Waterloo

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