Dr McGowan is a consultant in pain medicine at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. His initial post-graduate training was in anaesthesia and critical care in the North-West of England. He undertook his senior training, including pain medicine, in the USA and London. In the past he has been a clinical lead and clinical director. Dr McGowan is also an international examiner for the FIPP diploma and lectures internationally.

He sits on several hospital committees and was elected as staff governor in 2014. He regards patient safety, along with the delivery of a high standard of care, to be extremely important. In the complex environments encountered in healthcare Dr McGowan can see the benefits to patients and staff of having properly arranged, fair environments for staff and a quality centred focus.

Dr McGowan resides within the Royal Free Hospital's catchment area and is keenly aware of local opinion.