Good morning. First, I would like to thank the New England Surgical Society for this opportunity. I have always held this society in high regard, and I feel especially honored to lead it. People standing up here usually refer to their mentors, and I would like to mention 2 at the outset. My father once told me that you learn a tremendous amount in your first year of surgical practice, despite the quality of your residency. In this regard, I would especially wish to recognize Dr James Foster, who recruited me to Connecticut and who has an enduring image as a principled educator, philosopher, and general surgeon; and my colleague, Dr Joseph Pyrtek, a true master of all forms of general surgery, who was always available on the hospital ward or in the operating room when I needed help with a difficult clinical problem. And finally, I would like to recognize the most important person to me, my wife Marylou, who during our marriage of 36 years has brought so much perspective and joy to my life.
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John P. Welch, MD
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