AFTER 25 years of AFL industry service, Dr Peter Harcourt will step back from the role of AFL chief medical officer at the end of October.

He will be replaced by the AFL's current deputy chief medical officer Dr Michael Makdissi from the start of November.

Dr Harcourt will continue to consult to the AFL on a part-time basis and focus his efforts across anti-doping, concussion, and further research.

Dr Makdissi has been the deputy chief medical officer for the AFL since 2020 and the team doctor at Hawthorn since 2005.

Dr Michael Makdissi during a Hawthorn media conference back in 2016. Picture: Getty Images

He has wide-ranging experience across many sports and in additional to his 15 years at Hawthorn and 10 years as part of the AFL Academy (10 years), Michael held medical positions for the Australian team at the Commonwealth Games (Delhi, Glasgow, Gold Coast) and the Olympic Games in 2012 (London).

AFL football manager Andrew Dillon said: "Peter's contribution to football in the medical space has been second to none, leading our game through a significant period of growth and professionalism whilst continuing to prioritise player and industry health and welfare."

Mr Dillon added: "Michael's qualifications are world class and his experience across professional sporting organisations, teams and leagues, paired with his time working closely with Peter as deputy has him well equipped to lead the AFL's medical endeavours."

DR PETER HARCOURT STEPS DOWN Read the full AFL statement here

Hawthorn head of football Rob McCartney thanked Dr Makdissi for his service to the club.

"This is a fantastic endorsement of the skills and qualities Michael brings to the sports medicine field," McCartney said. 

"Our players have been amazingly fortunate to have had Michael guiding medical decisions for our club over the past 17 years. The outcomes associated with the expertise and care he demonstrated on a daily basis will be his lasting legacy."

Hawthorn will announce a replacement for Dr Makdissi in due course.

The AFL Healthcare team comprises the following people:

  • Rachel Elliott – Head of Healthcare Governance & Concussion
  • Dr Michael Makdissi – AFL Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr Anik Shawdon – AFL Pathways, Community football, Research
  • Dr Phillipa Inge – AFLW, Concussion: Past Players Program, Research, Indigenous Health
  • Dr David Bolzonello – Umpire Health
  • Dr Peter Harcourt – Anti-Doping, Concussion, Research