In the early days of Medicare, Dr Martin Flood became a Branch Councillor of the New South Wales AMA. Like many before him, he found the culture of the organisation difficult. The Branch Council had a reputation for lengthy deliberation and lack of action. Despite years of frustration Martin remained on the Council, determined to find a better way to maintain the independence of the profession he loved. His colleague and friend, Dr Bruce Shepherd states, ‘It was due to Martin’s determination that a group of us were inspired to form a team to contest the 1987 NSW AMA Branch Council elections.’

Dr Flood’s jovial disposition and incisive mind have been used in many leadership positions in the AMA and the Australian Association of Surgeons (AAS), which formed the nucleus of support for the 1984 Doctors’ Dispute.

His sacrifices on behalf of his colleagues in the defence of an independent profession are rightly acknowledged through the awarding of a Bruce Shepherd Medal for outstanding service to independent medicine.