John D Sheppard MD MMSc

Doctor Details

Dr. John Sheppard is the President of Virginia Eye Consultants, and he oversees our overall mission of providing a leading academic, clinical, and research center for excellence in ophthalmology. Dr. Sheppard is a board-certified and fellowship-trained corneal eye surgeon, and he specializes in such areas as corneal transplantation, dry eye syndrome, uveitis, cataract surgery, glaucoma, and premium lens implants. His commitment to performing the highest quality of eye care solutions has led to Dr. Sheppard receiving the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award, and he has also been named one of The Best Doctors in America since 2002.

For three years in a row, VEC has been honored with the Roaring Twenty Award for being one of the 20 fastest growing businesses in Eastern Virginia. The team has also received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Finalist Award as the best business in Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and the Southern U.S.

“When patients walk into the doors of the VEC center, they can be assured of receiving outstanding care from physicians who are at the top of their field,” says Dr. Sheppard. He adds that the team is also proud to offer patients such a welcoming and relaxing environment when they come in for their eye care appointments.

“What differentiates VEC from other vision care practices is our level of expertise,” says Dr. Sheppard. “Our training, experience, skill, and knowledge allow us to treat the most challenging conditions, regardless of the situation. Our doctors are proactive in offering new treatments because many times we have developed them, led a research team doing the investigation, or we serve on a national advisory board that reviews the results.”

Dr. Sheppard is originally from Pittsburgh. He received a full Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship, under which he completed his bachelor’s, master’s and medical degrees from Brown University in Rhode Island. For four years, he served with the U.S. Navy, acting as the 6th Fleet Medical Officer and Chief of Family Practice.

Following his time in the military, Dr. Sheppard completed a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute. He then entered a fellowship at the University of California Francis I. Proctor Research Foundation in San Francisco. During this time, he was given the esteemed Heed-Knapp, Burroughs-Wellcome and NIH National Research Fellowship grants for his work in corneal disease, uveitis, third world blindness, and ocular immunology.

In 1989, Dr. Sheppard joined the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) faculty and is now Professor of Ophthalmology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. He also serves as Research Director of the Ophthalmology Residency Program at EVMS. As Clinical Director of the Thomas R. Lee Center for Ocular Pharmacology, he not only coordinates clinical trials, but is also instrumental in translational research bringing preclinical studies into practice. He holds a patent for photodynamic therapy of the ocular surface. During a period of major sociopolitical changes in transplantation reimbursement, he was Chairman of the Board of the Lions Bank of Eastern Virginia and now serves as a Medical Director.

Dr. Sheppard is actively involved in numerous clinical trials and has participated as principal investigator in over 110 clinical research trials sponsored by many major pharmaceutical companies and for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, Dr. Sheppard has served on the medical advisory board for over 41 pharmaceutical and medical device companies. He has authored over 110 peer review abstracts, journal articles, and chapters.

An acclaimed speaker, Dr. Sheppard has presented over 700 invited lectures and visiting professorships worldwide. He also works at the forefront of the electronic publishing age, holding such positions as uveiti section editor for; editorial board member for EyeNet, the AAO online uveitis committee, Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye & Contact Lens; and a reviewer for dozens of peer review journals. Dr. Sheppard currently serves as the COO of EyeRx Research, Inc., a pharmaceutical development company, and founder of, a major buying group for Ophthalmologists and Optometrists.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. His hobbies include swimming, playing the organ during church services, and the keytar at rock and roll gigs with friends and fellow physician musicians.

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Doctor Details
Board Certified
Primary Specialty
Secondary Specialty
Ophthalmologist (MD)