Leslie Garay, MD
I speak: English, Spanish
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. My mother and father are immigrants to this country who worked multiple jobs to give us kids whatever we needed. They encouraged us to pursue our dreams, and all I wanted was to make them proud of me. I went to Rutgers University for my Bachelor of Science and to Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for my Doctor of Medicine. I did my internship in internal medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and my residency in ophthalmology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus, where I was chief resident. I also did a fellowship in cornea, external diseases, and refractive surgery at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and I’m now board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. When I was at a medical conference in New Orleans, I met my future husband, and we easily made the decision to move to Hawaii and start our family.
About my practice
Becoming a doctor was my dream from the age of five. When I was 16, I joined the emergency medical services in my town and had the amazing experience of being a first responder in urgent and critical situations. This made me realize that I wanted to have a career in medicine.
I chose to specialize in ophthalmology because it’s broad in scope. I see patients in the office setting, in the operating room, and in emergency situations. It’s challenging and innovative, and it demands a very fine surgical skill set.
To stay current with medical research, I read medical journal articles and attend professional conferences. I take part in continuing medical education programs and have presented on cornea procedures at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. My colleagues are also an important resource.
The mission of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group—to provide quality health care using a teamwork approach—attracted me to this organization. An important part of providing quality care is knowing about my patients’ families and support systems allows me to make realistic and effective treatment recommendations. It’s also important that physicians educate their patients so that t
How I thrive
I like to go for long walks in my neighborhood to reflect on situations in my life and beyond. To maintain my mental health, I listen to music, bake, relax with yoga, do water sports such as stand-up paddling, and spend quality time with my family.