Over the past 30 years, there has been no greater servant of the Australian medical profession than Dr Bill Coote. Bill started his medical career as a General Practitioner in the hinterland of Queensland’s Gold Coast. He then pursued his interests in medicine and economics by accepting a role in the Federal AMA as a health economist, and after 5 years went on to become one of the most successful CEOs in the history of the Federal AMA (1992-1998).
Bill’s intellectual grip on all areas of health policy and practical economics is unique. This talent could have taken him into senior corporate roles, however, Dr Coote decided instead to serve his profession by accepting policy roles with the Federal Minister for Health Dr Michael Wooldridge and later Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley. He then went on to senior roles in the Australian public service as inaugural CEO of GPET and later Director of the Professional Services Review (PSR). Throughout this time, Dr Coote wrote numerous articles, research and policy papers to help steer the AMA and consequently, the Australian medical profession, through numerous crises and policy debates. Bill Coote is one of the most highly regarded medical administrators, policy advisors, public servants and medical practitioners ever to serve the Australian medical profession. He is awarded the Bruce Shepherd Medal for outstanding and unique service to the independence of Australian medicine.