Born and brought up in Penang, Professor Boey graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of London in 1987. Until 1992, he worked in various hospitals in the United Kingdom, including children’s hospitals such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. During this period, he obtained his Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and Diploma in Child Health from the Royal College of Physicians of London. Upon returning to Malaysia, he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya on March 16th, 1992.
In addition to providing service and teaching in general paediatrics at the University of Malaya Medical Centre, he also started the Unit of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in the Paediatric Department in January, 1993 as the head of unit and its only staff. The unit now has a team of three staff specialists and is recognised nationally as a centre of excellence for this subspecialty, receiving referrals from hospitals and clinics throughout Malaysia. In 1996-97, Professor Boey was Visiting Fellow in paediatric gastroenterology in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia. In March 2000, he was awarded ‘The Young Clinician’s Award’ by the Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology and the Asian Pacific Society for Digestive Endoscopy and in August 2000, the World Congress Travel Outreach Award by The North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
In 1999, Professor Boey was admitted as a member of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia and in November that same year, he was promoted to Associate Professor in the University of Malaya. In 2000, he was awarded a Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.) by the University of Malaya for his research on recurrent abdominal pain in Malaysian children. This was a comprehensive study based on hospital and community surveys. In 2002 and 2004, Professor Boey was conferred respectively Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow and Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health of the United Kingdom. Recognising the importance of inter-faculty collaboration, he went on to perform extensive joint studies between the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Education on the school performance of children with gastrointestinal problems. This resulted in the award of his second doctoral degree, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), in 2004. In 2004, he was also awarded the University of Malaya Excellent Service Award. The University of Malaya promoted him to the position of Professor in December 2005.
Professor Boey has served in the Faculty of Medicine as a coordinator of the undergraduate programme. In addition, he has been involved as an invited speaker in courses on paediatrics and paediatric gastroenterology for undergraduates as well as post-graduate students, both in Malaysia and in other Asian countries such as Singapore, the Philippines and Japan. In 2002, he was appointed Visiting Associated Professor of Paediatrics at the Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, and was subsequently promoted to Visiting Professor in July, 2007. In August 2008, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Paediatrics at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo. Since 1997, he has been involved in coordinating the clinical component of the MRCP(UK) and MRCPCH(UK) examinations, and in 2008, he was appointed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health as an examiner of the MRCPCH(UK) examination.
Professor Boey served as a committee member in the Malaysian Paediatric Association in 1993. In 2000, he served as secretary of the College of Paediatrics, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia and also chaired the subspecialty committee for Paediatric Gastroenterology in the College. He was also appointed an advisor to the Malaysian Breastfeeding Association in 2003. Professor Boey is currently the chairman of the Ministry of Health Specialty Credentialling Sub-Committee for Paediatric Gastroenterology. In 2007, he was conferred Fellowship of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
At the international level, in June 2005, he was appointed Vice-President of the Asian Pan-Pacific Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and became President in August 2008. In March 2009, he was appointed a Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, which is based in Salzburg.
On a broader scale, in addition to activities in medicine, Professor Boey has also been active in numerous activities for the promotion of peace, education and cultural exchange. Some of the many activities he has been involved in over the years are the Fourth Asian Pacific Regional Conference organised by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in August1994; the ‘International Seminar on Islam and Confucianism : A Civilisational Dialogue’ organised by the University of Malaya in March 1995; and the National Conference on ‘ The Family in the K-Economy Age: Challenges to Parenthood’ organised by Asia Pacific Forum on Families, Malaysia in November, 2001. In March,2005, he served as a rappateur at an ‘International Conference on Peace in Palestine’ held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. He lectured on “Media and Religion” at the Asia Media Summit in May, 2006. In January, 2008, he was invited by Kyoto University to speak on “The Role and Mission of Education at Universities in the 21st Century – from the Viewpoints of Health, Medicine and Bioethics”. He was symposium chairman in July 2008 for a panel discussion on ‘Internal and External Impediments in Religion’s Quest for Global Justice and Peace’ at the International Conference on ‘Religion in the Quest for Global Justice and Peace’ organized by the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.