Dr. John Vassallo is a Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Cornea and Refractive Surgery Specialist with Florida Eye Specialists. Dr. Vassallo has practiced for over 25 years at Vassallo Eye and Laser Institute in St. Augustine and Palatka. Since both practices’ mottos were “Excellence in Eye Care” it was an easy match when he joined forces with Florida Eye Specialists in early 2019. Dr. Vassallo, like the doctors at Florida Eye Specialists, has been consistently voted as one of the area’s top doctors year after year.
Unlike many physicians who are only required to pass the boards one time, Dr. Vassallo has passed his board certification a total of 3 times. In 1992, when Dr. John M. Vassallo, M.D., opened the Vassallo Eye and Laser Institute in St. Augustine, he became the first doctor in the area to perform small incision cataract surgery and refractive surgery. Before that, patients had to travel to Jacksonville, Daytona, and Gainesville.
“I think the way to help a community is by staying on top of the latest trends and techniques,” Dr. Vassallo explains. “The eye is an extension of the brain and I get to impact people’s lives in a positive way.”
Born outside of Detroit and raised in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., Dr. Vassallo’s father, a dentist, encouraged him to be a physician. “I’ve always had a quest for knowledge,” states Dr. Vassallo, “and my father knew that I would be much happier and do greater good as an eye surgeon.” Dr. Vassallo has tried to make his father proud and has successfully operated on and restored the vision of thousands of patients since his first successful cataract surgery in 1987.
Dr. Vassallo graduated Magna Cum Laude from Saint Louis University in Saint Louis Missouri with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He stayed at Saint Louis University to complete his Medical School training. While at St. Louis University, Dr. Vassallo did his internship at Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis, then returned to St. Louis University for his Ophthalmology residency. He finished up his training with a Cornea and Refractive surgery fellowship at the Neumann Eye Institute in Deland, Florida.
When it was time to choose a specialty, Dr. Vassallo decided on Ophthalmology because next to neurosurgery, it’s one of the most complex and technological fields of medicine and offered him the greatest chance to improve patients’ lives.
Today, Dr. Vassallo is part of the Florida Eye Specialists team and is dedicated to providing Excellence in Eye Care while working one-on-one with patients. He specializes in the most modern no-stitch, no-shot cataract surgery with custom multifocal intraocular lenses, as well as treatment for glaucoma.
“As new technology becomes available, there will be more options for patients,” Dr. Vassallo explains. “When you help a person see better, you know you’re making a difference in their life.”