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February 1983

Frank L. Meleney: Pioneer Surgeon-Bacteriologist: Presidential Address

Author Affiliations

From the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(2):151-155. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390020007001

As long as surgical infections exist, surgeons must make never-ending efforts to control them and to prevent their occurrence by every means available. The goal is not yet in sight, but we know what it is and we believe it to be attainable. It may be described as a time when science and art can absolutely prevent bacteria from gaining a foothold in the human body and can abruptly terminate their activity, if they have already become established.1

Frank L. Meleney

None can doubt that these words describe the purpose of the Surgical Infection Society, yet they were published 53 years before the founding of this organization. They were written by a young pioneer surgeon-bacteriologist, Frank L. Meleney, MD (Figure), as he looked ahead toward what was to be the primary aim of his professional life. Many years later, his mentor and chief, Allen Oldfather Whipple, MD, would write,

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