During the past year, I have received several interesting bits of advice regarding this speech. They ranged from "keep it brief," to "not too many slides," to "don't include too much philosophy," to "speak to the issues of most concern to the practicing, not the academic, surgeon." The advice that gave me the biggest jolt was given to me in Toronto at the end of last year's meeting by a past president. The conversation went something like this: "Peter, what do you plan to discuss in your presidential address next year?" I enthusiastically responded, "Well, I thought I'd talk about some things I have learned during the past 35 years. . . ." I was about to add, " . . . about the evolution of treatment strategies in surgical oncology," but this past president, a friend of mine, I think, quickly added before I could finish my statement, "Well, that shouldn't take very long!"
Deckers PJ. Health Care Reform and Undergraduate Medical EducationImplications for Surgeons. Arch Surg. 2000;135(4):399-408. doi:10.1001/archsurg.135.4.399