Chief Medical Officer (United Kingdom)
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is the most senior advisor on health matters in a government. There are four CMOs in the United Kingdom who are appointed to advise their respective governments: Her Majesty's Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. Each CMO is assisted by one or more Deputy Chief Medical Officers, and are complimented by a Chief Nursing Officer.
In England, the CMO is a member of the board of the National Health Service (NHS), a civil servant in the Department of Health, and head of the medical civil service. The Republic of Ireland has a similar officer.
The Chief Medical Officer is a qualified medical doctor whose medical speciality traditionally was public health medicine, and whose work focused on the health of communities rather than health of individuals. More recently the appointees have been clinicians without training or experience in public health medicine. In the UK, the CMO is one of six chief professional officers who advise the government in their respective health and social care disciplines.
The equivalent US term is Surgeon General. The term Surgeon General is also a used in the British Armed Forces for the head of medical services. In non-government organisations, such as policing, chief medical officer may refer to a senior medical post in the organisation. When appointed outside government the chief medical officer will often decide on physical and mental fitness to serve issues, and the role may not be in public health.
Chief Medical Officers for Her Majesty's Government
The historic post was created in Victorian times to help to prevent cholera epidemics. In 1969 the post of Chief Medical Officer for Wales was created, and prior to this both England and Wales were covered by the post of Chief Medical Officer of England and Wales.
- Sir John Simon (1855–1876)
- Dr Edward Cator Seaton (1876–1879)
- Sir George Buchanan (1879–1892)
- Sir Richard Thorne Thorne (1892–1899)
- Sir William Henry Power (1900–1908)
- Sir Arthur Newsholme (1908–1919)
- Sir George Newman (1919–1935)
- Sir Arthur MacNalty (1935–1940)
- Sir Wilson Jameson (1940–1950)
- Sir John Charles (1950–1960)
- Sir George Godber (1960–1973)
- Sir Henry Yellowlees (1973–1984)
- Sir Donald Acheson (1984–1991)
- Sir Kenneth Calman (1991–1998)
- Sir Liam Donaldson (1998–31 May 2010)
- Professor Dame Sally Davies (from 1 June 2010)
Chief Medical Officers for Scotland
Through various reorganisations, the CMOs for Scotland has been the chief medical officer in the Local Government Board for Scotland, Scottish Board of Health, Department of Health for Scotland, the Scottish Home and Health Department, the Scottish Executive Health Department and now the Scottish Government:
- J. B. McLintock (1894–1898)
- James Burn Russell (1898–1904) 
- Sir Leslie Mackenzie (1904–1929)
- J. P. Kinloch (1929–1932)
- J. L. Brownlie (1932–1937)
- J. M. Mackintosh (1937–1941)
- Sir Andrew Davidson (1941–1954)
- Sir Kenneth Cowan (1954–1964)
- Sir John Brotherston (1964–1977)
- Sir John Reid (1977–1985)
- Dr Iain Macdonald (1985–1989)
- Prof. Sir Kenneth Calman (1989–1991)
- Dr Robert Kendell (1991–1996)
- Prof Sir David Carter (1996–2000)
- Dr Ernest Macalpine ("Mac") Armstrong (2000–2005)
- Prof. Sir Harry Burns (2005–2014)
- Professor Aileen Keel (2014 – 2015; acting)
- Dr Catherine Calderwood (from 2015)
Chief Medical Officers for Wales
- Dr Richard Bevan (1969–1977)
- Prof. Gareth Crompton (1978–1989)
- Dame Deirdre Hine (1990–1997)
- Dr Ruth Hall (1997–2006)
- Dr Tony Jewell (18 April 2006–2012)
- Dr Ruth Hussey (2012–2016)
- Dr Chris Jones (acting; from March to July 2016)
- Dr Frank Atherton (1 August 2016-Present)
Chief Medical Officers for Northern Ireland
- Dr William Richard Dawson (1922-1929) Chief Medical Officer of Ministry of Home Affairs, Northern Ireland.
- Dr Thomas Terence Baird (1973-1978)
- Dr Bob Weir (1978-1986)
- Dr James McKenna (1988-1995)
- Dr Henrietta Campbell (1995–2006)
- Dr Michael McBride (from 2006)
- Medical Officer for Health
- Chief Medical Officer, Republic of Ireland
- Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
- Surgeon General of the United States
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