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January 1985

William A. Altemeier, MD: Surgeon and BacteriologistPresidential Address

Author Affiliations

From the Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Read before the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Surgical Infection Society, Montreal, April 30, 1984.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(1):13-16. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390250007001

It came to me as somewhat of a shock one year ago to receive a telephone call from William Altemeier, MD, at breakfast time on the first day of the meeting of the Surgical Infection Society (SIS). The conversation went somewhat like this:

Dr Altemeier: "The nominating committee of the Surgical Infection Society met this morning."

Dr Rhoads: "I did not know that I was a member of it."

Dr Altemeier: "You are not."

Dr Rhoads: "I did not think I was."

Dr Altemeier: "The committee wants to nominate you for the presidency of the SIS. Will you accept?"

Dr Rhoads: "I can think of many younger people who would be more appropriate [I mentioned, as an example, Dr Basil Pruitt]."

Dr Altemeier: "The committee thinks that the society should be in senior hands a little longer."

Dr Rhoads: "If this is the committee's final decision, I will serve if

Altemeier WA, McClure RD:  Acute perforated appendicitis with peritonitis: Report of 252 consecutive cases . Ann Surg 1937;105:800-814.Article
Altemeier WA:  The bacterial flora of acute perforated appendicitis with peritonitis: A bacteriologic study based upon 100 cases . Ann Surg 1938;107:517-528.Article
Altemeier WA:  The cause of the putrid odor of perforated appendicitis with peritonitis . Ann Surg 1938;107:634-636.Article
Committee report:  Postoperative wound infections: The influence of ultraviolet irradiation of the operating room and various other factors . Ann Surg 1964;160( (suppl) ):1-192.Article
Altemeier WA, McDonough JJ, Fullen WD:  Third day surgical fever . Arch Surg 1971;103:155-156.Article
Altemeier WA, Lewis S, Schlievert PM, et al:  Studies of the staphylococcal causation of toxic shock syndrome . Surgery 1981;153:481-485.