By Ling-Mei Wong
John Leung may be the first triple board-certified doctor to specialize in internal medicine, gastroenterology and allergies in Boston. While many doctors have more than one board certification, Leung’s combination of gastroenterology and allergies is distinctly unique.
After completing his medical degree in 2004, Leung did a three-year residency in internal medicine and was a gastrointestinal (GI) fellow at Tufts Medical Center. During his fellowship, he found that many people had allergies in their gut.
“No one was experienced in both allergy and GI, so I studied allergies after my GI fellowship,” Leung said. “There’s a unique need for people who know both fields.”
As director of the Food Allergy Center at Tufts Medical Center, his expertise across disciplines gives him insight. The Food Allergy Center was opened by Leung in 2013 and has since welcomed at least 500 patients.
“There’s clearly a need,” Leung said. He himself does not suffer from food allergies and loves eating dumplings, hot pot and Chinatown bakery treats.
Leung came to America in 1997 as an undergraduate chemical engineering student from Hong Kong. Raised by “lovely” parents who didn’t have much, Leung learned firsthand about working hard to fulfill his dreams.
“I decided to become a doctor and come to America when I was a teenager,” Leung said. “I saw a lot of news in Hong Kong about advances in science, which inspired me to come to this country to be a scientist and medical doctor. It’s my love to interact with people and to do science.”
Between research and seeing patients, Leung also makes outreach a priority. “At Tufts, about a fifth of the patients are Chinese, so I can give back to the community,” he said. “That’s why I chose to work at Tufts, not other medical centers.”
Leung is careful to balance work and life with his wife Swetal and 18-month-old son Jay. He plays badminton twice a week at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from,” Leung said. “If you decide to achieve something, you can do it.”
Leung can be reached for allergy appointments at (617) 636-5333 and gastroenterology appointments at (617) 636-5883.
This post is also available in: Chinese