Born June 26, 1957 in Montreal to Pierre Couillard and Hélène Pardé, Philippe Couillard obtained his medical degree in 1979 and a diploma in neurosurgery in 1985 from the University of Montreal, and specialist’s certificates from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1985.
He was chief surgeon of neurosurgery at Saint-Luc Hospital from 1989 to 1992, co-founder of the Dhahran Neurosurgery Service In Saudi Arabia from 1992 to 1996, professor of the faculty of medicine at Université de Sherbrooke from 1996 to 2003 and chief surgeon and director of the department of surgery of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke from 2000 to 2003.
He was the Canadian representative on the board of directors of the Société de neurochirurgie de langue française from 1999 to 2003. Board member and member of the Committee on Public Affairs and the Politics of Health of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada from 2000 to 2003. Member of the James IV Association of Surgery as of 2002.
Elected as the Liberal MNA for Mont-Royal in 2003. Re-elected as the member for Jean-Talon in 2007. Minister of Health and Social Services in the Charest cabinet from April 29, 2003 to June 25, 2008.
Partner in the Persistence Capital Partners investment fund as of August 18, 2008. Appointed Senior Fellow in Health Law at McGill University in January 2009, and taught there from January 2009 to December 2011. Since 2009 he has sat on the international advisory board of the Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia. Appointed June 24, 2010 as a member of the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). In February 2011 he became a strategic advisor in health policy and life sciences with SECOR, and a private consultant as of July 2012.
He sits on the boards of Amorfix Life Sciences and Thallion Pharmaceuticals. He is president of the Fondation canadienne de recherche en santé and the Regroupement des soins de santé
2006 recipient of the Medicine, Culture and Society Prize from the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal, and the Jacques Cartier Medal in 2007.
*Note that Dr. Couillard resigned from all his professional commitments as of October 1, 2012.