Eugene P. Salvati

1985 to 1986

In preparing for this presidential address of the 87th year of our Society I read every prior address that was available for the past twenty-five years and this in itself was an interesting exercise. It was fascinating to see how our Society has grown and matured. So many men much wiser and erudite than I, had preceded me. All of the golden words of wisdom seem to have been spoken. What was left for me to say? What could I possibly add that would be of interest? All of the past Presidents had very ably covered the progress of our Society and specialty, historically. All of the great men had been properly credited. Twenty-five years from now, would some future President read my address and what would he think of it? These thoughts kept going through my mind as I searched for some common theme that I might dwell on; something that perhaps would stimulate and not bore. I realized that I must not attach too much importance to my words since it was highly unlikely that they would be remembered as most words are written in the sands of time, disappearing quickly with the vagaries of the wind.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had lived my professional life through the developmental years of our specialty. From 1899, when the American Proctologic Society was established in this country with Joseph Matthews as its first President to the mid 1950's our specialty, and that is synonymous with our Society, remained small and
rather obscure. Our interest was primarily proctologic.