David Beck

2010 to 2011

Members of the The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (Society), friends, and guests, it has been my distinct pleasure and honor to have served as your president for the past year. Shortly after being elected to this distinguished office, my predecessor gladly sent me a notebook that contains all the previous presidential lectures, many of which have been published in Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. One of my goals as a past president will be to convert these talks into a digital format for future presidents.

In reviewing the binder, I learned that during the previous 111 years, there have been 101 presidents, with 6 of them serving 2 terms, an event unlikely to occur again. The presidential talks have run the gamut from scholarly scientific papers, attempts to foretell the future, predictions about the future fate of our specialty, both gloomy and bright, philosophic looks at our predecessors, and exhortations on what we could and should do for our specialty. Only one president did not give a presidential oration and to quote a previous president, J. Byron Gathright, “I won’t be the second.”

What would be a suitable topic for this presentation? I sought advice from my wife Sharon, who wisely advised me to speak slowly, make it interesting, and keep it short. After significant deliberation, I have chosen to speak on Choosing your Goals and how this skill has advanced our specialty and can enhance your professional career.

Goals are defined in Webster’s Dictionary as a boundary or an end that one strives to attain.