To serve as President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons has been a great challenge, an honor that exceeds any other in my career, and a privilege that will be remembered forever. I appreciate your trust, and I'll cherish the memories.
I decided to give this talk with this title two years ago, after listening to Herand Abcarian's address at the Toronto meeting.
Dr. Abcarian discussed the issue of giving something back for all that we take. He referred to Gene Salvati's principle that we each have a "G.O.H.," or goodness of heart, column in our books and our thoughts. Individually, to greater or lesser degrees, this is done by all of you here, in your clinic coverage, your free or discounted care, in the extra time you put forth for patient and family education, in donations, and in many other ways. Much of this comes from time you might take more comfortably with your spouse or your children or your friends. The satisfaction of charitable or benevolent care is rewarding; you can be proud of that.
Does the ASCRS have a goodness of heart column? I didn't see one on the Council's list of work. I haven't heard one discussed.
I will describe for you briefly the current overall agenda of this Society, professionalism and what true professionalism for this Society might imply, and, lastly, how we might get there.
This Society has five major agenda items, which have been present since the first meeting in 1899 in Columbus, Ohio. They have been greatly expanded and will continue to grow.