Founder, University Eye Surgeons/Specialists
Active, 1968-1999; currently part-time practice
Dr. John L. Montgomery Jr., the founder of University Eye Specialists, continues to see patients on a part-time basis. He traces the roots of the medical group to his father, Dr. John L. Montgomery Sr., M.D., FACS, the first board certified ophthalmologist in East Tennessee, who began his ophthalmology practice in Knoxville in 1935.
Dr. Montgomery earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in Memphis. After internship, residency, and a stint in the Army, practiced with his father and then founded University Eye Surgeons in 1971 with Dr. David Gerkin. Their clinic, located at what was then known as University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center and Hospital – now UT Medical Center – is part of a teaching environment to assist with training physicians and other health care providers.
Dr. Montgomery saw the need to attract highly skilled ophthalmologists and subspecialists in the field because eye care was becoming increasingly complex. He recognized the rise in sub-specialty eye care calling it the most significant recent shift in ophthalmology. The teaching component of the practice continues to this day, along with commitment to community service, East Tennessee Eye bank, RAM, and UES provides much of the eye care for the InterFaith Health Clinic.
Dr. Montgomery retired in 1999 and having had an interest in livestock all of his life, enjoyed his purebred Red Angus cattle farm in Loudon County. In 2014, he sold the farm and cattle and moved back to Knoxville. His wife, Gale, a practicing registered nurse, encouraged her husband to return to work in some capacity, noting that he could only play so much golf. He appreciates the interaction with his patients and the collegiality with fellow physicians and stays up to date with study, reading and teaching.
A native Knoxvillian, Dr. Montgomery has three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He and his wife are elders at Farragut Presbyterian Church and enjoy traveling and enjoying their families and church. Both also are involved with autism awareness and volunteer work.