Orthopaedic Gifts: Opportunities and Obligations
Terry R. Light, MD

Dr. Swiontkowski, ABC Presidents, ABC Traveling Fellows, distinguished international presidents, AOA members, and guests: I am honored to have the opportunity to address you today.

I vividly recall the first meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) that I attended. I was thrilled when my orthopaedic mentor, Wayne Southwick, asked me to join him and his wife, Ann, as their guest at the 1979 meeting of the AOA at the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico. We boarded a minibus at the San Juan airport for the trip to the hotel. A gentleman climbed aboard, spotted Wayne and Ann, and introduced himself: “John Sharrard—I'm carrying the flag for the BOA.” Hmm, I thought, BOA, British Orthopaedic Association. How cool was that? It was difficult for me to imagine that I might someday merit election to membership in the AOA. I feel like Groucho Marx who said: “I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member.” The prospect of presiding over this organization in the coming year is humbling.

I have been the recipient of numerous gifts. I was particularly fortunate to have been mentored at Yale by a wonderful orthopaedic chief, Wayne Southwick, who taught me to love orthopaedics and to treasure the opportunity to influence the lives of those who will follow. I am forever in his debt. He gave me the gift of responsibility. I tried to warrant the confidence he showed in me. I am greatly honored that Wayne is here today. I am grateful to my true-blue friend Kris Keggi who has accompanied Wayne to this meeting.

Initially, I planned to speak about my passion, academic orthopaedics. Events have convinced me to shift my focus to consider orthopaedic gifts, a subject that tests our fidelity to the highest principles of …


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