Dr. Philippe Couillard went to medical school and obtained his specialization at the University of Montreal. Certified in 1985, he practiced neurosurgery in Montreal and in the Middle East from 1985 to 1996 and at the University of Sherbrooke until 2003. In 2003, he was named Head of the Department of Surgery of the university hospital and served as a member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Elected to Quebec's National Assembly in 2003 and again in 2007, he was Quebec's Minister of Health and Social Services until June 2008. During his mandate, Dr. Couillard directed numerous reforms of Quebec's healthcare system and implemented the province's medication policy in 2007.
Since retiring from political life, Dr. Couillard spends time consulting in Canada and abroad as a strategic consultant of Groupe Secor. He sits on several boards or directors and is an associate at Persistence Capital Partners, a private equity fund active in the health sector. He teaches health care governance at McGill University.
A member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Dr. Couillard sits on the Security Intelligence Review Committee.