Bertram A. Portin
1981 to 1982
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons has a number of important functions. Certainly we enjoy being together with a group of people who engage in similar professional activities, to meet with old friends and with new ones. Another important function of the Society is that of representing our specialty and promoting recognition and status among collegial societies, before the public, and, if necessary, before governmental agencies. The Society is well represented nationally, with representation on the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the American College of Surgeons, and its Advisory Council in Colon and Rectal Surgery, its Board of Governors, and its Continuing and Graduate Medical Education Committees. We are also represented in the American Medical Association through its Section on Colon and Rectal Surgery. We are represented on the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and, indirectly through them, on the American Board of Surgery, on the Residency Review Committees, and on the American Board of Medical Specialties. Such widespread representation and recognition of our specialty would be impossible without a strong American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Both the social and representative functions of our Society are important and essential, but, in my opinion, the major reason for our existence lies in this Society's absolute commitment to quality continuing medical education. The Annual Scientific Session which you are now attending is designed totally as an educational experience; the original papers, the symposium, the scientific exhibits, the postgraduate courses all have been assembled for the singular purpose of fulfilling that commitment.