Robert W. Beart, Jr.

1991 to 1992

In 1967, John Forsythe wrote a book about Bill Bradley. The title of this book was "A Sense of Where You Are" and its thesis was that Bill Bradley was an outstanding basketball player, in large part, because of his ability on the basketball court to know where he was. Supposedly his peripheral vision exceeded that of most people and he had an uncanny sense to know where he was and where other players were on the court. This phrase has always stuck in my mind and it has always seemed an important concept to me to know where you are. It is impractical to think that you have an outstanding sub-specialty practice in a rural farm community. Similarly, the ability to do research on a disease process which you rarely see in your practice is unrealistic. If one is interested in having a fulfilling life and achieving the goals which help one to realize that fulfillment, then it is important to recognize the implications of where we are and how we will get to the point where we want to be.

Well, where are we? Specifically, you are in lovely city today, enjoying what I hope will be an outstanding meeting. The Hilton Hotel venue is outstanding and provides each of us the opportunity for a stimulating intellectual environment, as well as an opportunity for camaraderie and fellowship, which has become so meaningful to those of us in this sub-specialty. More specifically, we are involved in the game of medicine on a team called colon and rectal surgery.