The distinction bestowed on me by my selection as your president during the past year has been, and is, deeply appreciated. My esteem for the office is matched by my affection for the organization and its members. The eminence the Western Surgical Association enjoys in the field of American surgery today is reason enough to be moved deeply by your choice. I was, to say the least, more than a little surprised at being chosen president. The recognition you have given me is a great honor. It is one I will always cherish.
The difficulties encountered in selecting an appropriate subject for a presidential address, particularly to members of the Western Surgical Association, have been many for me over the past 12 months. After reviewing presidential addresses given over the past 15 years, I decided to avoid, insomuch as possible, broad subjects such as public disenchantment with the medical profession,
Harvey R. Butcher. What's Past Is Prologue. Arch Surg. 1980;115(4):371–376. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380040005001