Tasmanian General Surgeon Dr Michael Wertheimer became a central figure in Australian Medico-politics when he encouraged his colleague Dr Brendan Nelson to run for office in the Australian Medical Association. The rest is well known. It was shortly after the NSW Doctors’ Dispute that Dr Wertheimer threw his weight behind the AMA presidency of Dr Bruce Shepherd and worked tirelessly to gain him support in Tasmania, which proved invaluable in the final, successful result.

Dr Wertheimer served with distinction as a Naval Surgeon in the Gulf War. A brave and dedicated Australian and friend to all who loved and worked for freedom and justice. His hospitality and generosity to anyone who cared to visit Tasmania on medical business were legendary.

Michael’s natural, Australian charm was infectious. You were never going out for a meal — you were going for a ‘nose bag’. Sadly, for all of us these sayings were not recorded for posterity, but all those who knew and loved Michael will recall his unique sense of humour and dedication to his patients, his profession and his country.

We salute and remember him fondly with the presentation of a Bruce Shepherd Medal for outstanding service to independent medicine.