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July 15, 1961

"The Professional Spirit"Inaugural Address

Author Affiliations

Bismarck, N. D.

JAMA. 1961;177(2):97-99. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040280001001

Tonight, in taking office as president of the American Medical Association, I shall not belabor you with the multitude of problems and challenges confronting American medicine. I believe that all of you are well aware of the critical, changing times in which we live.

Instead, I should like to offer a few personal comments on a subject dear to my heart. All of you, I am sure, have also given it much serious thought over the years. It is something which continually should occupy the minds of all physicians who aspire to be truly good doctors.

This something is the true professional spirit. Actually, this spirit—given full sway in both our private meditations and daily actions—can help provide the criterion for meeting the countless baffling questions presented by modern life.

An Unchangeable Force  I like to think of the professional spirit as an unchangeable force in medicine. True, its outward

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