Bruce G. Wolff

2004 to 2005

It has been a privilege and an honor to work this past year with a superb Executive Council and to be an advocate and caretaker of a most sacred trust, The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS). As many of my predecessors have affirmed in their own cases, I have been able to do this only with the help and understanding of my colleagues at Mayo, my children, and most of all, my wife, Vikki. Please also permit me to acknowledge the influence and example of my father and mother, who started what are now three generations of Mayo-trained surgeons.

For two years, I have been considering what I would say to you at this moment, as the presidential address is the bane of all presidents. Although I am comfortable discussing with you, as colleagues, such things as diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease, where I can hide behind data and clinical experience, this address requires something more for which I am somewhat ill-equipped—the sharing of pertinent philosophic beliefs, global perspective on our sub-specialty, and recommendations for positive action. These inner revelations have been bound in conceptual constipation and have not come easily, and I am exhausted with the effort.