Collier F. Martin
1919 to 1920
It is with a feeling of keen pleasure that I stand before you today to extend to you a welcome to our Twenty-first Annual Meeting. As guests of our own Dr. Jelks and of the Memphis and Shelby County Medical Society, the American Proctologic Society is indeed fortunate.
It is good to see that co-operation, the first text in my address, is so well exemplified in the'way in which all have worked to make our program one to be remembered.
Twenty-one years ago this Society was organized by thirteen enthusiastic surgeons, who were far-sighted enough to see that in proctology there was a wonderful field for research and study. Previous to this, dating from 1885, there had been a few informal meetings of proctologists which led up to this organization. It was fitting that Dr. Joseph M. Mathews, of Louisville, Ky., the retiring president of the American Medical Association at that time, should be elected as our president. Yon gentlemen of the South can be justly proud of this, your fellow worker, this truly great man, who already had accomplished so much in the little known field of proctology.
When Dr. Mathews began to turn his attention to the study of diseases of the rectum and anus, specialism was just beginning. True it was that there were already men claiming to cure these conditions, but their rather doubtful methods of advertising were irritating to those members of the regular profession who were trying to practice medicine honorably and honestly.