Optometrist Kent Robertson and his staff stand in front of his office’s selection of designer glasses. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Optometrist Kent Robertson and his staff stand in front of his office’s selection of designer glasses. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Kent Robertson might have been destined to be an optometrist before he was even born. His father was an optometrist, as well as his grandfather and his two uncles. It’s not hard to guess what line of work his son is currently studying.

“I’ve got a son in optometry school,” Robertson said, joking that his family can’t seem to get away from the profession.

Robertson has been practicing optometry in Ely for 25 years this year. Looking back on his time spent, he still remembers observing his father working at his office in Ely. It spurred a life long interest in wanting to help people, he said.

“I was always interested in health care professions from that point on. I like the idea of working with people on a day to day basis,” Robertson said.

While he considered other careers in health care, he said he didn’t like the “blood and guts” that came with working in a hospital setting, so he settled on continuing his father’s work. After leaving Ely for 10 years to go through the required schooling, he returned to his hometown to reconnect with his father and to start his new career.

“It was a great opportunity once I graduated school to come and work with my father. He made it very easy to join with him so it was kind of a no brainer,” he said.

These days, Robertson admits to a sense of deja vu, with his son nearing the end of his optometry schooling. He hopes that he too will return to his hometown and team up again for a father, son optometry office once again. But while he waits for that, Robertson is focused on his patients. Though he sees anywhere between 15 to 20 a day, Robertson said that he loves getting to interact with his patients and keep up with how their lives are going.

“That’s the beauty of working in a small town, you develop relationships over time with these people. I mean, I’ll run into my patients at the grocery store or the post office, and always am happy to hear about how their family is doing. You wouldn’t get that working in a bigger city,” he said.

Another perk of being a small town optometrist? The variety of work he gets to do.

“In a bigger city, everyone specializes in one certain thing. I’m seeing so many people a day, I don’t think I could just do that one thing every single time, it would wear me out,” Robertson said. “I like it here because I get to help children all the way to senior citizens. It’s very fulfilling.”

Robertson said that his office is unique because of the wide variety of glasses he has on hand.

“I like that we get to sell so many different styles and brands of glasses; most optometrists don’t have that. It’s actually kind of unusual. But again, in a small town like Ely, you have to adjust and be able to accommodate people,” he said.

Robertson’s offices are located at 409 Murry St. To set up an appointment, call 775-289-2580.