John Welling



Dr. John Welling is a board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeon specializing in cataract surgery, custom lens implants (Light Adjustable Lens, Panoptix, Toric), laser vision correction (LASIK and PRK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), implantable contact lenses (ICL), corneal transplants (DMEK, DSEK, DALK, PKP), pterygium surgery, keratoconus, corneal collagen cross linking, ocular surface tumors, corneal dystrophies, and infectious eye disease. He is also available for general ophthalmology, diabetic exams, uveitis, and routine eye care.

Dr. Welling serves as lead instructor for a cataract surgery course at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). He also sits on the ASCRS Surgical Skills Transfer Committee and teaches a cataract surgery course at the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Welling has served as international faculty for SightLife Skills Transfer Courses in Nepal and Ethiopia, giving hands-on training in advanced corneal transplant techniques. He is the author of peer-reviewed journal articles, a book chapter, and numerous presentations at national and international conferences.

John Welling, MD: Medical Eye Center
Dr.Welling celebrate with patient after sign restoring surgery_Daybreak vision
Dr Welling celebrates with a patient after her sight has been restored. Daybreak Vision Project High Volume Cataract Outreach - Tamale, Ghana 2022.

As a young man Dr Welling spent two transformative years serving as a missionary for his church in Southern Africa.  This experience opened his eyes to the strength, ingenuity, and resilience of the people among whom he served, and also to the challenges many of them faced, including the inability to access basic healthcare services like cataract surgery.  The realization of these disparities, coupled with his desire to remain deeply connected to Africa, led Dr Welling to pursue a path in medicine that would allow him to return frequently.

After completing his cornea, cataract, and refractive surgery fellowship at Emory University, Dr. Welling and his family spent one year in Africa and Asia where he served as the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) / Moran Eye Center International Fellow. Dr. Welling went on to serve for 4 years as the Country Medical Coordinator for the Himalayan Cataract Project in Ghana, West Africa.

In 2017, Dr Welling and his partner Dr Oliva led the establishment of Medical Eye Center’s Global Partnership Program.  Through this program, for every laser vision correction procedure (LASIK or PRK) we perform, Medical Eye Center donates the cost of a sight-restoring cataract surgery in Africa.  On average, this program funds 600-900 sight-restoring cataract surgeries per year.

Dr Welling is Co-founder and CEO of Daybreak Vision Project, a non-profit dedicated to bringing sight-restoring cataract surgery to those in greatest need.  Daybreak works to establish long-term relationships with eye care professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing hands-on training to surgeons and partnering with them to perform high-volume cataract outreaches in highly underserved areas.  Through its social media channels, Daybreak seeks to raise awareness about global cataract blindness and share the joy of sight restoration.   

Dr Welling loves spending time with his wife and 5 children, backpacking, kayaking, fishing, and exploring all the incredible beauty of the Pacific Northwest. 

Dr Welling celebrates with a single mother after sight-restoring cataract surgery
Dr Welling celebrates with Akua, a single mother of 5 children who underwent sight-restoring cataract surgery in both eyes, and was able to see her baby for the first time. Daybreak Vision Project High Volume Cataract Outreach - Sunyani, Ghana 2022. Watch Akua’s story below.

Education and Training

Fellowship, 2016
International Ophthalmology—The Himalayan Cataract Project / University of Utah Moran Eye Center Salt Lake City, UT

Fellowship, 2015
Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgery—Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Residency, 2014
Ophthalmology—Havener Eye Institute, Ohio State University

Internship, 2011
Internal Medicine—Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, OH

Medical School, 2010
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Undergraduate, 2005
BS in Microbiology with Honors—Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Joined Medical Eye Center in 2016
Dr. Welling is currently accepting new patients. Call us today to make your appointment.