A.W. Martin Marino, Jr.
1984 to 1985
Welcome to the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. I am honored, indeed, that you have permitted me to serve as your president during the past year. This marks my 28th meeting as a member, but the first time I remember attending was in 1933 in Chicago. I got a strong early impression that this was a very special organization, possibly because there was an international exposition: a magnificant World's Fair in Chicago that year. I must confess that the meeting and the grandeur of the Fair were completely interwoven in an 8-year-old's memory.
I still feel that this is a very special organization even today, and I must confess that the past year has increased my admiration for it and the wise leaders who founded, forged, guided and established the Society and the specialty of Colon and Rectal Surgery. As physicians and specialists in 1985, we can only benefit from their efforts because what they built for us is sound and solid. Because of this, I am certain that we can survive the turmoil of change that now threatens to engulf the profession of medicine.
In June of 1899, 15 proctologists met at the Chittenden Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, and founded the American Proctologic Society. The only purpose of their meeting was the dissemination of specialized knowledge; 13 of the 15 presented scientific papers. The rest is history. From this modest beginning, there has evolved a specialty organization that has produced an annual meeting with over 1300 registrants; a world-class journal, Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, and 27 approved residency training programs, producing 50 graduates each year. It is only after passing the Qualifying Examination of the American Board of Surgery that these candidates become eligible to sit for the examination oi the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.