Passionate about her work, Sheila Laplante has been part of the Visique family for 15 years. She is now Lead Optometrist at Visique Place Cartier and a member of the Visique/FYidoctors' Advisory Committee.
What’s her favourite thing about her job? Helping other people through her expert advice. Finding solutions for her patients is what guides her in her daily tasks.
Read on to find out more.
1. What is your current position at Visique?
I am currently Lead Optometrist at Visique Place Cartier. I am also fortunate to be a member of the Visique/FYidoctors' Advisory Committee.
2. Could you briefly describe your academic background and training?
Originally from New Brunswick, I finished my Health Sciences degree at the University of Moncton, Edmundston campus before entering the PhD program in Optometry at the University of Montreal. Since graduating in 2004, I have been working at the same clinic in the Outaouais region.
3. What makes your clinic a unique place to work at?
We are the very description of the family clinic. I’ve had the pleasure of examining people of all ages. From a newborn baby to a centenarian who touched me through his presence and life experience, I’ve worked with all generations. Over the years and through their visits, our customers become guests, friends and a bit like members of our Visique family.
4. What made you want to work in the vision care market?
I’ve always loved science, physics, biology, mathematics and helping people. Through refraction and corrective lenses, optometry is a nice combination of mathematics and optical physics. Biology and social support are some of the more medical aspects of the profession and they have always appealed to me.
5. What do you like most about your work?
I love helping people. I like to find a solution to their vision problems. And the more complex the situation is, the more motivated I become to find a solution. A young amblyopic patient (lazy eye) whose vision improves considerably with glasses and/or vision therapy will see me doing a happy dance. Seeing a patient who suffered from the after-effects of a concussion shedding a tear because he is finally relieved thanks to his new orthotic device is my real reward. It’s the reason why I wake up every day.
6. What is one of the most difficult aspects of your work?
What I find most difficult is to reconcile work and family. We are fortunate to have a large number of clients and I would like to be able to see my patients whenever they want and never keep them waiting. And on the other hand, since I always try to do a little more for my patients, I don’t spend as much time with my children and family as I would like to. I find it hard to give everyone what they deserve.
7. Tell us about one of your best memories from the clinic?
I have several of them. One of the funniest memories took place more than 10 years ago. A 4-year-old patient had just received his first glasses. He was hyperopic, which means he needed the type of glasses that slightly magnify objects. So I put the glasses on his nose and his first sentence was: “Dr. Sheila, you're so fat!”. I got the giggles although his mother was a bit embarrassed. Still today, I have the pleasure to do eye exams for him and every time, I like to remind him of what he told me when he was 4.
8. How do you see the future of eye care?
I believe that the world of optics and eye care, like many other industries, is currently undergoing quite significant changes. Optometrists are increasingly involved in the overall management of the patient's health. They will be called upon to work more closely with other health professionals. We have more and more specialized knowledge and skills and we should be proud to share them.
9. What is the most important tip you want to give your patients?
Do your research. Feel free to ask the right questions. There are increasingly confusing product and marketing offers, and it is easy to get lost. At Visique, we are always happy to answer these questions in a frank and transparent manner.
10. What is your own style of glasses?
My style varies depending on my mood and the colour of the clothes I wear. I am lucky to have a very stable optical prescription and I keep my glasses for several years, so I now have a nice little collection!
11. Where can we find you when you are not at Visique?
It depends on the season, but you can often find me at the local arena or on the edge of a soccer field, cheering on my sons for their sporting achievements. You could also find me walking on the asphalt of our beautiful recreational trails, although I am a little less constant since my first marathon last year.
If you want to book an appointment with Dr. Sheila Laplante or another optometrist, discover your nearest Visique clinic.
Dr Frédéric Marchand, optométriste