H. Whitney Boggs, Jr.

1986 to 1987

As the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons enters its 87th year of service of our profession, I am proud to have been the 81st person to serve as your President. Indeed, I have had the unique opportunity to serve our specialty as a member of our specialty board or as an officer of this Society for more than half of my professional life. For this, I shall always be grateful, and I offer each of you my sincere thanks.

My predecessor advised me to prepare this address during the early days of my presidential year. I immediately began preparing a presidential address that I believed would have just the right blend of the historical and the philosophic. As events began to unfold, however, I realized that it was time to turn attention to the practical side of our Society's affairs, time to discuss some of the problems that we, as a Society, must face, and some of the problems over which we, together, have control. Thus, I called this presidential address, "But There is a Practical Side." When I told Harriette Gibson my title, her response was swift! She said, "How do you want me to spell but--with one T or two?"

I do not have the solutions to the vast number of complex problems confronting the medical profession today. Suffice it to say that ever-increasing manhours and money will be required of this membership just to keep informed and to try to prevent from being swept away by the political and economic tides now controlling the ebb and flow of our professional lives.