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.
John P. Welch, MD
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