Rizal established a clinic in Dapitan where he treated common ailments and eye diseases. He even practiced dentistry. In a letter to his brother-in-law Manuel Hidalgo in March 1894, he wrote: "I have very many patients who come from different towns and now I have my lands dotted with little hospital-houses."
As one of a handful of ophthalmologists in Southeast Asia at the time, Rizal was sought after by patients from all over the country and even abroad. Among the people he treated were his mother; and Englishman who paid him Php 500; George Taufer, the stepfather of Josephine Bracken; and Don Ignacio Tamarong of Misamis.