Our Founder John M. Corboy

Dr. John Corboy is an icon in ophthalmology and a leader in the medical field in Hawai’i. Dr. Corboy is a successful business man, a profound teacher, but most of all, he has a passion to serve those most in need.


Dr. Corboy founded the Hawaiian Eye Center in a single back room in 1975, down an alley in Wahiawa. Between then and his retirement in 2000, Dr. Corboy built a vision care empire with nine offices across every island in the state. Because of his dedication to perfection and patients’ comfort, he was the sixth person in the entire nation to offer outpatient cataract surgery in his very own surgery center. This was unheard of in the seventies. Also offered in his practice before others: intraocular lens implantation, and full-service transportation and lodging for outer island patients who had to travel for care. He treated his patients as family and he offered the most up-to-date technologies.

As a pioneer in ophthalmology, he was asked to sit on many boards and serve as faculty at various meetings. He began to teach as an Associate Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and wrote a Retinoscopy textbook and an advertising in medicine manual that is still used in medical programs. Because of his love for teaching ophthalmology, he founded the Royal Hawaiian Eye Meeting, which is still the third largest ophthalmology gathering. This conference still provides continuing education credits for ophthalmologists, nurses, technicians, and office administrators every January.

Vietnam presentation photo 2015Shortly after his retirement, he founded the Imperial City Eye Meeting in VietNam and the Myanmar Eye Meeting in Burma, to bring Vietnamese and Burmese ophthalmology into the 21st century. Now the meeting is in it’s 4th year in Myanmar and the inaugural meeting was just held in October 2018 in Cambodia.  Eight sub-specialities are taught through lectures, consultations, wet labs, and live surgeries. Skills transfer courses are offered for residents to gain the hands-on experience they need. Thousands of doctors have been trained at these meetings thus far.

Vietnam award

Dr. Corboy is continually active, serving on the Hawai’i Medical Advisory Board. He frequents international missions, science fairs, free local vision screenings and speaks at many schools. He is an honorary member of the South African Ophthalmology Society and was a guest lecturer at the biggest ophthalmology conference in Africa in July 2017.  He has been invited back to speak in 2019 as well.

Among his many distinguished awards, Dr. Corboy is a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.  The Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) Award is the highest recognition from the Lions Clubs International Foundation being given to members who have rendered outstanding community services.  In 2018, Dr. Corboy received both the Top Doctors of America recognition, as well as Pacific Edge Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award!

We are so proud of his 50+ years a pioneer in the field of Ophthalmology!  He continues to pave the way for Lancaster scholars to join the annual course in Maine each June and helps spread aloha around the world with his continued travels to build relationships with countries in need of curing cataract blindness.  You’ll see him in Laos and Indonesia in 2019!  Stay tuned for more travels and awards from this incredible leader in the future!