One would be forgiven for re-reading the long list of credentials that follow the name of Dr Liang Joo Leow.
You’d need to make sure you’ve read correctly.
It isn’t every day you come across a man not only highly regarded for his excellence in complex medical and surgical dermatology, but a man whose name is amongst only a handful of Australian medical practitioner’s specialising in Mohs surgery; including reconstruction, lasers, and cosmetic procedures. A man with a keen interest in treating a vast spectrum of the dermatology field including rosacea, genital dermatology, diseases of the nail, hair loss and paediatric dermatology. A man whose early interest in needlework and sewing has led to the treatment of countless people, as well as ongoing progressions in modern health, science, and the education of the next generation.
The love for his work is evident when he speaks:
“Dermatology is one of only a handful of specialties that straddle both medicine and surgery. I enjoy the broad scope of practice it offers as well as the wide variety of medical remedies and cutting-edge therapeutic devices available today to achieve the best outcome for patients, ranging from lasers for disfiguring birthmarks and biologic therapy for psoriasis, to radiotherapy for skin cancer and cold-assisted lipolysis for unwanted fat.”
It’s no wonder then that he receives regular referrals from other specialists.
Dr Leow’s passion for education showed at an early age when he attended Fort Street High School, ranking first in the NSW High School Certificate for Physics, Indonesian and Malay and second in Computing Studies. just a year after completing his own secondary studies he went on to serve HSC examination and marking committees at the NSW Board of Studies.
“I was fortunate to attend a school that brought out the best in each student. My teachers even held classes before and after regular school hours to accommodate my additional subjects, several more than were required for the HSC. I am passionate about topics that captivate my interest, and this is reflected in the highly specialised fields I have pursued.”
Dr Leow completed his medical studies as a young man, graduating with honours from the University of New South Wales in 2000. He furthered his love of computers by studying Information Technology at The University of Technology in Sydney before becoming a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group – working with them for two years on a broad range of projects across fashion, fast food and banking.
“At the Boston Consulting Group, I helped establish a web presence for Go Volunteer, which to this day is the go-to site linking volunteers with opportunities. The experience sparked my interest in aid work, and I collaborated with AusAID on two health-related projects in East Timor in 2002.”
Dr Leow went on to complete his medical internship and returned to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he had trained as a student. During this time, he completed a Master of Public Health at James Cook University and was appointed duty registrar at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney.
Not one to have a resting moment, he then flew to Melbourne to take advantage of their specialist dermatology training; rounding off his formal education with a Mohs surgery fellowship back in Sydney. To summarise; he’s not only a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, but is also one of only a few Australian Mohs surgeons who are members of the prestigious American College of Mohs Surgery – and one of just a handful of dermatologists licensed to administer radiotherapy.
“Interestingly, at the outset I had intended to be a medical dermatologist. However, from the very first week, I was assisting in Mohs surgery and complex reconstructive procedures at the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Victoria. This was an unexpected revival of my childhood interest in needlepoint, crochet and sewing; and I discovered an affinity to dermatologic surgery. In Melbourne I was fortunate to be under the tutelage of two luminary Australian plastic surgeons, Mr Felix Behan and Mr Miklós Pohl.”
“Further afield, I also gained valuable knowledge and expertise in treating skin conditions less commonly seen in Australia, such as pigmentary disorders, infectious disease and tropical disease; while on travelling scholarships during and after my specialist training, in San Francisco and Singapore. I often incorporate this in day-to-day practice with my current patient base in inner Sydney.”
“After qualifying in dermatology and Mohs surgery, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in my spare time, graduating from the University of New England in 2014. I was awarded the university prize in linguistics; and achieved top ranking for my second major in Indonesian.”
And if Dr Leow’s qualifications and time weren’t stretched far enough, he’s also an author in international medical literature. His published works include the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Australasian Journal of Dermatology, and British Journal of Urology. He is also a regular reviewer for the Australasian Journal of Dermatology.
“I am often invited to speak at conferences, and have participated in education programmes and workshops for general practitioners, urologists, travel medicine specialists, dermatology trainees, and pharmacists.”
“I have always been interested in academic research, both medical and non-medical. Prior to specialist training, I was part of a research team at St Vincent’s Private Hospital awarded a grant of $15,000 by the University of New South Wales, focusing on undergraduate medical education. I was also joint recipient of a research grant from the Australasian College of Dermatologists, investigating a bacterial cause for one of the most common skin conditions, rosacea.”
Dr Leow is also somewhat of a celebrity. He’s worked as a
seasoned voice artist, simultaneous interpreter and translator and is represented by a leading voice talent agency in Australia. He’s part of an elite group of UN-level linguists who belong to the International Association of Conference Interpreters, and the American Association of Language Specialists.
“These days I often record character voices for radio and TV advertisements, so these go unnoticed by close friends and family alike. I have played the role of Ketut on radio, and was the voice of the last emperor of China in an award-winning documentary. Highlights of my work as a linguist include the Sydney Olympic Games, various G20 Summits, winning an industry award for live interpretation of the Schapelle Corby verdict on television, lecturing at the Indonesian Military Language Academy, and navigating the complexities of subtitling at the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).”
Dr Leow has wider interests in the medical field. As a conjoint lecturer of the University of New South Wales and clinical lecturer of Macquarie University, he is an examiner and teacher at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has served as Supervisor of Training for Dermatology at St Vincent’s Hospital.
“Each year, I interview applicants to the medical program at the University of New South Wales, and I am an examiner at the final examinations. I meet new doctors on their way in, and again as they graduate.”
“I am a member of the Clinical Advisory and Innovation Council of St Vincent’s Health Australia, which allows me to draw on my diverse experience in medicine, education and business, to help progress and improve one of the most highly-respected national healthcare organisations in the region.”