Lee E. Smith

1998 to 1999

I am honored to have been your president for the past year. I now go back to being what I like best, a colon and rectal surgeon. As colon and rectal surgeons, we enjoy being able to diagnose and treat the many diseases and disorders that our patients experience. Even better, we are proud that we can successfully treat most patients. However, we owe a debt of gratitude to our predecessors, the colon and rectal surgeons who have guided this society during the past century.

As you know, we meet in a very special year, the 100th anniversary of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. During this century more improvements in health care have been made than in all recorded time. It has been marvelous to be a physician in the 20th century. My message today is to point out where The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons has been in the 20th century, point out where we are regarding colorectal cancer screening at the end of the century, and make a strong recommendation about how we must tread boldly into the new millennium.


Less than two centuries ago, one of my heroes, Thomas Jefferson, occupied the White House, just down the street. His foresight lead to the Louisiana Purchase, the New Frontier.