Herand Abcarian

Herand Abcarian | ASCRS

1988 to 1989

The opportunity of serving The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons as its President is a unique and singular privilege. I am grateful to have had this opportunity and I consider this the pinnacle of my professional career.


Most of you who know me well also know that I am rarely at a loss for words, but I must admit that I found preparing and delivering a Presidential Address to this body a most intimidating task. After all, having heard the last 18 such addresses and having read the text of many recent ones in the last few weeks leaves one with a strong feeling of not only what is there left to say, but also how can one even come close to the eloquence of the giants who seemingly have said it all before. Moreover, I had to look hard to see whether there is any good news to bring to the Society, as I was reluctant to be the prophet of doom and gloom.


Having had a year to reflect on these matters, I thought I would share with you today my beliefs of the specialty of Colon and Rectal Surgery, what it does for each one of us individually, what we can do for it collectively, and where the future of the specialty lies in relationship to other disciplines in medicine.


To many, if not all, it is abundantly obvious that the golden era of the practice of medicine is behind us. We have, to a great extent, been burdened with governmental bureaucracy, an increasingly difficult medico-legal climate, and dwindling public confidence. Some days it is hard to figure out whether we are the good guys or the ones wearing the black hats in the old cowboy movies.