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June 1990

Some Eastern Thoughts for Northeastern Surgeons: Presidential Address

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(6):702-706. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410180020003

I have watched with fascination the emerging dominance of the Eastern nations in the political and economic spheres, and I agree with the majority opinion that we must credit hard work, good schooling, and a greater concern for society than for the individual for much of their competitive edge. However, it is not of capitalism vs socialism that I wish to speak today, but rather of certain cultural values that distinguish West from East, values that may have some pertinence to the way we practice medicine.

I have no valid credentials for talking about Eastern values. I have spent a total of slightly less than 4 months on four different trips to the Orient, and much of that time was in the countryside. However, I have read and thought a bit in the 2 years that you give your president elect to choose and to mature a topic. The Eastern

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