Ralph W. Jackson

1923 to 1924

Whence proctology in America has come to its present estate is a matter more or less familial to us all, but to none is the story of its development more intimately known than to our past president. Dr. Beach, a charter member and the first secretary of the American Proctologic Society: who has loved it and worked for it as but few of its Fellows have, and who follows me on today's program. Twenty-live years ago, within a few months of the first meeting of this Society, the then president of a Southern medical society delivered an address before his organization which was entitled "Quo Vadis?" It dealt with professional problems, then timely or prospective but now largely retrospective. The quarter century is ended for us and it is an appropriate time to consider our own past and future. Hence, I have frankly appropriated the title of the before-mentioned presidential address, and while leaving matters in retrospect to Dr. Beach, I shall have things to say of matters timely and in prospect. If at times I may appear rather caustic, it will be truths which have been forced upon me during my service as Secretary and Editor, and will be said only with constructive intent for the good of proctology, and for the good of a society which I value more than any other professional organization to which I belong.

Every medical and surgical specialty began because there was need and possibility of better work in that particular line than was wing done by the general profession: it had, at first, to meet the disdain and often the antagonism of the profession, but with increase in numbers and perfection of work resulting from competition and from cooperation in its special society, gave better service to suffering humanity than ever before and commanded the respect of the profession.