Professor Brian K Owler was educated in Sydney and undertook his undergraduate medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) at the University of Sydney.
During his undergraduate training he took a particular interest in neurosciences and spent an extra year researching neural mechanisms of pain. For his thesis he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Medicine) with first class honours. His interest in neuroscience and surgery naturally gave him a keen interest in neurosurgery and he began researching neurosurgical conditions and writing papers on conditions such as hydrocephalus in his final years of medical studies.
During his undergraduate training Dr Owler was heavily involved in the Sydney University Medical Society being a director of the Sydney University Medical Society Bookshop and was later elected as Undergraduate President of the Society. He was also interested in medical politics and was elected to the NSW AMA Council as its medical student representative.
Dr Brian K Owler worked as an intern and then unaccredited neurosurgical and general surgical registrar at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and also worked for short periods at Manning Base Hospital and Alice Springs Hospital.
He was offered a position as a Neurosurgical Research Fellow at the Academic Neurosurgery Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom to research hydrocephalus and CSF circulation disorders. This was very productive research resulting in numerous publications and the award of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sydney for his thesis on Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.
After completing this research he undertook accrediated neurosurgical training through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. During this time he worked with various neurosurgeons at Westmead Hospital, the Children's Hospital at Westmead and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He completed training at the end of 2005 and established his neurosurgical practice based at Westmead.
He developed neurosurgery at both the Sydney Adventist Hospital and the Norwest Private Hospital. He continues to operate at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Private Hospital and Macquarie University Private Hospital.
During this period Prof Owler continued to his interest in medical politics and public health policy. He joined the AMA NSW Council during which time he developed the ‘Don’t Rush' Road Safety Campaign. He also campaigned to protect children from accidental injuries such as falls from windows and poll drownings. He was elected AMA NSW President in 2012 and later AMA Federal President in 2014.