James A. Ferguson

1969 to 1970

Because of my long association with The American Proctologic Society and my complete involvement in it, I want to confine my remarks to some historical facts and some unmentionable observations about it.

The American Proctologic Society was founded in 1899 by a small group of men who managed to hold it together through all its difficult years and until such developmental events as The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery assured its continuation.

The American College of Surgeons, founded in 1913, was the "first national organization to function somewhat as a qualifying Board in a specialty."

The National Board of Medical Examiners, from which the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties developed, was formed in 1915. In that year the young American Proctologic Society slept. The American Board of Ophthalmology was incorporated in 1917, followed by The American Board of Otalaryngology in 1924, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1930, the American Board of Dermatology in 1932.

Sporadic attempts to get the "specialty" movement underway, being made all through these years, ultimately were spearheaded by a committee of the four established specialty Boards which I have just mentioned. Thus, the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties was formed in 1933, at which time twelve suitable fields for certification of specialties were defined, and proctology was not among them.