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Presidential Address
April 1, 2006

Surgeons and the Nobel Prize

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Transplantation Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 2006;141(4):340-348. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.4.340

It has been my great fortune to serve as the 85th president of the New England Surgical Society. I am grateful to all of my colleagues for the privilege of serving in this role over the past year. Certainly, one of the greatest honors a surgeon can receive is to be selected by his peers to a leadership position in a prominent society. With the receipt of such a responsibility, the first question that probably crosses the minds of most presidents-elect is: “How can I help to maintain this society's traditions of leadership, education, and camaraderie?” This is closely followed by, “What can I possibly say in my presidential address that is worth saying?” As one reviews previous presidential addresses, it is apparent that a favorite theme is our surgical heritage, in which stories of the achievements of those surgeons recognized as giants in the field are retold. I have chosen to review the lives and contributions of the 9 surgeons whose singular accomplishments have been honored with the Nobel Prize in medicine, the highest scientific distinction.

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