Dr. Leal was born in Havana, Cuba in 1960. He immigrated to the U.S. in January 1971 and lived with his parents and brother in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. In 1979, he attended Villanova University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology (cum laude). He attended medical school at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara in Mexico and completed his medical training in 1987 and returned to the U.S. to initiate internship and residency training at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. At N.Y. Med, he was introduced into the field of addiction medicine by a very wise professor who taught the importance and need for training in this field. Following his teacher's advice, he attended Yale University and New York University School of Medicine and completed two years of clinical and research training in addiction medicine. During this time, he was Medical Director of the Central Treatment Unit -Yale Univ. Dept of Psychiatry and later Attending Physician/Clinical Instructor at Bellevue Hospital/NYU Med Center in NY City. This was followed by a faculty appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1994. From 1994-1995, he served as Medical Director of the Mentally Impaired and Chemically Addicted Unit (MICA) at the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.
In 1995, his fiancée and current wife, Diane Donohue, completed her Dermatology Residency. After much consideration, they decided to move to Memphis, TN that year where Dr. Leal's brother had established a Gastroenterology practice several years earlier and had repeatedly lauded the virtues of Memphis and Southern living. Moving to Memphis was a new and different experience after all the above travels, but Dr Leal was offered a position as Medical Director of the State Hospital (MMHI) and served there for 4 years. He has since continued to work in several clinics, hospitals and nursing homes in TN and MS. During this time, he has acquired Board Certification in General Psychiatry, Addictions, Geriatrics, and Psychosomatic Medicine from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and certification in Addiction Medicine from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. His wife practices Dermatology in Olive Branch, Ms. and they both live in Memphis with their 6 year old daughter, Erin.