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August 12, 1988

Let's Work Together!A Call to America's Physicians and the Public We Serve

JAMA. 1988;260(6):834-836. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410060104037

Mr Speaker, officers and members of the Board of Trustees, delegates and alternates to the House of Delegates, presidents of state associations, auxiliary officials, and distinguished guests: I feel privileged to join the ranks of 142 predecessors who have had the singular opportunity to serve as President of the American Medical Association. As I stand here—humbly, respectfully, and enthusiastically accepting the challenges of this office—I am honored to be in the presence of this audience, the leaders of American medicine.

This opportunity is especially meaningful to me because it comes at a time when our profession is at a zenith of unprecedented accomplishments. Working with the people of this country, we have achieved so much. Life expectancy continues to lengthen. The quality of life continues to improve. And the public now exhibits a widespread and impressive commitment to self-care and the prevention of illness.

The advances of many decades are