Dr Leonard's mother was born and grew up just a few blocks from Mexico.
After World War II, his parents settled 25 miles away and he grew up in the
country surrounded by cotton fields. They had lots of pets and raised goats,
ducks, chickens, rabbits and Chihuahuas. Dr. Leonard recalls his father
going around the countryside to check on old people to make sure that there
was enough to eat and when it was cold that they had heat.
Dr. Leonard rode
the school bus to a country school that once had 12 grades. He grew up
bilingual, in fact, he spoke Spanish before English. When he was in first
grade, the teachers used to use him to translate to the migrant children who
did not speak English. He played saxophone in the band and sang in a Boys'
Choir. In high school, he participated in Interscholastic League
Competitions in Debate, Number Sense, and Ready Writing. He was a
photographer for the Annual. He had some poetry published and participated
in Drama. Active in his youth group, he was the editor of a monthly
newsletter and won 1st Place Trophy for an Extemporaneous Writing
competition for Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
After graduating High School, Dr. Leonard went
to the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with a Bachelor of
Arts with High Honors from the Department of Oriental and African Languages
and Literatures in 1972. In addition, he qualified for a second BS degree in
Zoology with Honors.
Other honors included membership in Phi
Beta Kappa, academic Honor Society He also participated as a Representative
in the Model United Nations. He was Associate Editor and Columnist for the
University Jewish Voice. Having been accepted to Medical School, he worked
for 6 months, earning enough to back pack across Europe for the summer and
visit 18 countries before beginning UTMB Medical School in Galveston in
1973. Before graduating medical school, he was fortunate to have elective
opportunities at Cornell Medical School, in NYC, Brackenridge Hospital in
Austin, TX and The National Hospital for Nervous Disease at Queen Square in
He returned to do an internship in Houston,
TX and went on to a Neurology residency at University Hospital in Boston,
Massachusetts. He had an appointment as a Teaching Fellow there. He attended
the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC and spent some
post-graduate time at the Seizure Unit at Harvard Children's Hospital after
which he returned to London, where he had a position as Honorary Assistant
House Physician at the National Hospital for Nervous Disease at Queen Square
in London, England. This is the top Neurology Hospital in the British
Empire. Among his professors there was Sir Roger Bannister, the neurologist
who is also famous for running the 4 minute mile. He has continued regular
Post-graduate Training since that time and attended every Academy of
Neurology Meeting from 1981 through 2002.
Dr. B. J. Wilder, nationally known epileptologist selected him to be an
Epilepsy Mini-fellow at Bowman Gray University in Winston-Salem, NC with Dr.
Kiffen Penry in 1987.
He has avoided politics but has volunteered
regularly to work in his professional community.
Starting practice in Austin in 1982, Dr.
Alan Nogen asked him to be the Neurology Representative to the Council on
Socio-Economics. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed the Neurology
Representative to the TMA (Texas Medical Association) Specialty Society Committee. He was also the
Neurology Delegate to the TMA House of Delegates. Interested in the care
made available to the chronically ill and needy, he was appointed to the
Medicaid Working Group. For over 10 years he has been the Texas Neurology
Advisor for the Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee. This committee gives
advise on what is standard of care. He is also the Texas
Representative for the National Neurology Carrier Advisory Committee. When
Workers Compensation Law was enacted, he was appointed to the First Workers
Compensations Fees and Guidelines Committee. Because of his long history of
the Texas Neurological Community, he was elected President and is now a
the Texas Neurology Society. Recently, Dr. William Riley appointed Dr.
Leonard chairman of the Patient Advocacy Committee for the Texas
Neurological Society. Dr. Leonard was a former Neurology Section Coordinator
for the Texas Medical Association Annual Education Meeting and has been in
charge of the Neurology entry at HealthFest locally. Dr. Leonard was the
Texas Delegate to the Neurosociety Congress working for the Patients' Rights
in Washington DC.
He was married in 1978 to Patti surrounded by Azaleas in the courtyard of
her family home. After his residency, and living in London, they returned to
Austin to build a life together and open his practice. They have three
children. 2 daughters and one son. He taught religious
school and After their son was born, he was a volunteer doctor at a
children's camp for 11 years. During the Gulf War, he was an observer to the
Second Jewish Congress in the Soviet Union and helped with the emigration.
They participated in a delegation from the United States which were the
first foreign visitors to the New President of Lithuania after they seceded
from the Soviet Union.
Sharing knowledge and ideas has been one of his enjoyments and while in the
USSR, they gave talks to groups in Leningrad, Moscow and Vilna on "Rule of
Law" as opposed to "Rule of Policy." Upon returning to Austin, he mentored
new emigrants. He has also helped in the Brackenridge Family Practice and
Pediatrics Training program. Dr. Leonard has hired students to work in the
office from the Public School Systems for Work Study Programs and have also
given opportunities to UT Students to work in his office as well.
Among those students are Tax Lawyers,
Doctors, Professors, CPA's and other successful people who started working
in Dr. Leonard's office.
Dr. Leonard believes that the most charitable thing one can do for
another is to help that person to help themselves.