For Dr. Jon Konti, being the new guy in town isn’t the least bit intimidating. Nor is the realization that he’s now part of a medical practice that started several years before he was born.
As the corneal and refractive-surgery specialist most recently added to the staff of Dr. Robert Lewis’ venerable Ophthalmic Surgeons and Physicians, Konti knows he has become part of one of the southeast Valley’s most enduring medical legends.
Lewis, who next month will retire from the practice he established almost 40 years ago, has recruited a team with the skills, reputation—and dedication—that he knows can carry on where he’s leaving off.
That team includes Drs. Bertram Matsumoto, Lisa Mansueto, Camille Hylton, and now Konti.
For Konti, that’s not only a pat on the back for the successes he achieved during a long regimen of education and on-the-job training, but realization of a personal goal he said he has held ever since stepping onto his career path:
To improve his patients’ quality of life.
“I have a lot of compassion for my patients and I really feel for what they are going through,” said Konti, who has a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery.
“What I do is very rewarding because it directly impacts my patients’ lives. By improving their vision they can go back to driving again, and some tell me they are able to once again see their grandchildren. That is really special.”
The ability to care for his patients by using the latest methods of treating their vision issues while also offering emotional support is one of the reasons Konti decided to relocate to the area and take on the challenges of a still-growing practice.
“Our doctors have great reputations, and I wanted to associate myself with physicians like them,” he said.
Konti, who graduated in 2006 from medical school at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, completed his ophthalmology residency at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. He then completed a cornea and refractive surgery fellowship at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas.
Konti said he wanted to work in a private practice, so when a friend who had heard of Lewis and Matsumoto told him about the Tempe clinic and Lewis’ forthcoming retirement, Konti knew right away it would be a good fit for him.
Lewis founded the practice 35-plus years ago, a stretch during which he also was chief of ophthalmology at Desert Samaritan Hospital, now Banner Desert, for four years and vice chief for three. He also was the official consultant in ophthalmology at the former Williams Air Force Base from 1976 to 1982.
Lewis served a term as president of the Phoenix Ophthalmology Society and has been recognized as a lecturer and teacher of ophthalmology around the world.
It’s this history, plus a bit of personal motivation, that brought Konti to Tempe.
“It just seemed like it would be a great job opportunity to come here, and I was also excited about the great weather,” Konti said.
Since Konti specializes more in the corneal and refractive areas and Lewis sees more general ophthalmology patients, Konti said he will take over some but not all of Lewis’s patients once he retires.
“I’m more than happy to help carry the torch for Dr. Lewis,” he said. “We might specialize in different areas of expertise but our core values are definitely the same.”
Konti said he is thrilled to be part of an office that prides itself on offering quality service for its patients.
Konti says he’s likewise excited to be using some of the latest technology on his patients, from premium intraocular lenses used in cataract surgeries that can eliminate the need for reading glasses to a new form of LASIK surgery called CustomVue that maps the cornea, allowing for an even more accurate surgery.
“People are always thrilled by the idea that they won’t need to carry reading glasses anymore,” he said.
Konti said he is extremely glad that he made the decision to come to Ophthalmic Surgeons and Physicians.
He loves the area, adding that he’s “honored to help keep the values and traditions alive” that Lewis started so many years ago.
“I know that surgery is never a fun thing (for patients) to look forward to, so I spend extra time talking to them and helping to set their minds at ease,” he said. “What I do is extremely rewarding; I truly enjoy it.”
The south Tempe office is located at 3200 S. Country Club Way. There is also an office in Ahwatukee.