Those I have known well who have occupied this podium before me have confessed to considerable agonizing about this particular moment. The members of this association have been the molders of American medicine as we know it today. Those of you present will have a major say in what medicine will be like tomorrow. Thus the desire to say something important and timeless from this privileged office is very strong indeed.
In preparing for it, I started, as I believe many others have, by browsing through the presidential addresses of past years. They give a fascinating glimpse of the important issues of the day as perceived by a particular physician. I must confess, however, to not reading them all, for I soon happened again on Dr Francis Wood's delightful address of 1966.1 In his opening remarks, he told of his similar temptation to review what presidents had said in