Patrick H. Hanley

1975 to 1976

Members, ladies, and guests:

I am very grateful for the recognition you have bestowed upon me by electing me to serve as your President. I am profoundly humble in following in the footsteps of our distinguished past presidents. I am most appreciative of this distinct honor.

During this bicentennial celebration of our country, we recall the meeting held on June 6 and 7, 1899, when 15 prominent surgeons founded our society and elected Joseph M. Mathews president. If we reflect on the last 77 years, we can appreciate the growth and accomplishments our society has made. The success was made possible through the determination and dedication of our members, who have developed our society into one of the nation's great surgical specialties, a recognition that extends worldwide. If we meditate on the government's intervention in medicine, the world-wide violence, and the daily slanted interpretive reporting of information by the press, radio, and television, it engenders a feeling of apprehension and anxiety about the future. However, our specialty has risen to its present eminence during difficult times, and although the present time is filled with uncertainties, our future is brighter than at any time in our history. If we are to continue to grow and make substantial contributions to medicine, our members must be willing to come to grips with reality and to give financial support for our educational program--not simply to meet the requirements of HEW but to make our members more competent and efficient.