Discussions at national meetings have become a traditional part of our scientific transactions. As spring meetings begin, a moment of reflection is warranted. Discussions have historically become a dynamic part of our annual society meetings and often carry important analyses from thoughtful discussants. Occasionally, a significant historical observation is made, eg, "Because they first described this condition and brought it to our attention, it is suggested that this clinical entity be called the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome" (Eiseman, Society of University Surgeons 1956 Meeting).2
Discussion has been defined as a "... consideration of a question in open and usually informative debate; formal treatment of a topic; to investigate by reasoning or argument."3 Society discussions cover every aspect of this definition. They constitute a variety of expressions and in terms of quality could be mapped out on a bell-shaped curve. While some are thoughtful, even dialectic, others are inappropriately sardonic, and others
ORGAN CH. Discussions and Surgical Societies. Arch Surg. 1992;127(3):259–260. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420030021002
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