John R. Hill

1976 to 1977

Seventy-eight years ago, Doctor Joseph M. Mathews and 12 of his medical colleagues brought forth, in Columbus, Ohio, the Society of which we are now so pleased to be members. Progress of the Society, and consequently of our Specialty, with which there has always been a close relationship, has often been painfully slow during those 78 years. Yet, in the more than 30 years of my association with both Specialty and Society, I am certain that I have seen significant advances in a number of ways. My opinions are obviously biased by my own experiences, but I am confident that in the main they are based on reality.

It is agreed that our Society has been fortunate from the beginning in that it was founded by a group of surgeons who had lofty ideals, and it has continued to be fortunate in always having a nucleus of members who have been devoted not only to maintaining high standards, but also to improving them at every opportunity. Moreover, we are lucky that this nucleus of dedicated members has grown somewhat, because the problems to be solved for our Specialty have also become more complex.

During the next few minutes I will mention what I believe the principal achievements of this Society for our Specialty have been and then speak briefly of matters that concern the Council of the Society today. In doing this I will not attempt to keep things in chronological order, or in order of importance.