He was born and bred in Melbourne, Victoria, and graduated from Monash University - BMedSci (Hons) (1973), MBBS (1974). He moved all the way across the continent to Perth, Western Australia, in 1975.
His major medical interest is in dementia, and in this field he obtained a Master's degree in Medical Science in 1994 from the University of Western Australia.
Dr McCutcheon works as a geriatrician in the Restorative Unit at Fremantle Hospital supervising the rehabilitation of mainly elderly patients suffering from a variety of disabilities, caused most commonly by orthopaedic or neurological problems. He also performs geriatric assessments on patients inside and outside the hospital as part of a multi-disciplinary Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), providing advice on diagnosis, prognosis and management of medical conditions of the elderly to patients, relatives and treating doctors.
He has been the Honorary Medical Director of the Alzheimer's Association of Western Australia since 1988, and he was made a Life Member of the Association in 1997. The WA Association began its activities in 1982 and was the first State Alzheimer's Association formed in Australia.
In 1992, Dr McCutcheon was appointed as an inaugural member of the Guardianship and Administration Board of WA, and he is rostered regularly to conduct hearings in Perth to consider applications made to the Board regarding management of the personal and financial affairs of people with cognitive impairment.
Dr McCutcheon is married with four children. He enjoys music (plays piano, pipe organ, clarinet; listens eclectically but with a preference for Bach, and an antipathy towards Vivaldi, the repetitive construction of whose compositions argues for some significant parietal dysfunction in the composer at the very least), reading, golf, and computer programming, and gradually is gaining some experience as a tree farmer. His regular diet does not include Tim Tams (q.v.) on the advice of his physician, but he wishes it did.
In August 2000 he was required to enter hospital as a patient for neurosurgical treatment for a damaged cervical disc. Within a week of the operation it can be said that the surgery was superbly competent, efficient, and effective. Another positive aspect has been the insight gained from experiencing a patient's point of view and this will be incorporated into his future hospital practice. By some accounts he was not a very "good" patient in hospital, but he did not fulfil entirely the apocryphal role of doctor as dreadful patient. The convalescent period will be prolonged, and to date has been somewhat restrictive, uncomfortable and a little frustrating. In place of the removed disc he now has a titanium cage in his neck which holds two of his vertebrae together and apart, and it is hoped that the muscle activity lost pre-operatively will return over time.