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January 6, 1969

"It Is Safer to Change Many Things Than One"

JAMA. 1969;207(1):131-136. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03150140083017

It is a great privilege to be able again to address you as your president. Since we last met in June, I have had the unusual benefit of meeting many of you in your home states and seeing and hearing as much of the developments in medicine in this country as has anyone in the profession. These observations have been in a period of great ferment and change in medicine and in our society. We are meeting now as a new national administration prepares to direct this country's affairs—a transition symbolic of the crossroads we face, of the opportunities and pitfalls just ahead.

Every period of great change confronts men and institutions with both great hazards and great possibilities. Those who recognize the trends and patterns, and move with them, advance and prosper. Those who allow their posture to conflict with the tides often are swept aside or subordinated. The