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AMA Gold Medal presented for exceptional service to a ‘one of a kind’

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Dr William Glasson AO, the AMA President who steered a course through the medical indemnity crisis in the early 2000s, has been recognised with the highest honour the peak medical body can bestow – the AMA Gold Medal.

Dr Glasson, universally known as Bill, received the Medal in recognition of his exceptional service to the AMA over many years, and his long-term and ongoing commitment to the eye health of Indigenous people.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, who nominated Dr Glasson for the Medal, said that the distinguished ophthalmologist is one of a kind – a truly deserving recipient of the AMA Gold Medal.

Dr Gannon said: “Bill’s generosity and altruism know no bounds. His work extends to outback Queensland, Indigenous communities, and East Timor.

“Bill was always a strong and passionate advocate for the AMA, the medical profession, the health system, and patients throughout his time as President, at both State and national level.”

Dr Gannon acknowledged when presenting the award that Dr Glasson’s leadership produced a very positive outcome for the profession and the Australian people, following many years of hard work by his predecessors, the AMA Federal Council, and the State and Territory AMAs.

“His hours, days, and weeks of tense negotiations with the then Health Minister Tony Abbott paid off. Bill and Tony survived those tough days, and remain close friends to this day,” Dr Gannon said.

“Bill always wears his heart on his sleeve. His style of advocacy is direct and to the point, tinged with a typical Queensland bush sense of humour, which reflects his origins in outback Winton, and characterised by his expert use of the Australian vernacular.”

Dr Glasson has been President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

He is a member of professional organisations such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Australian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Australian Optometry Association.

Dr Glasson is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Queensland School of Medicine. 

Meredith Horne