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Posting the Signs on the Road to the 21st Century

Lonnie R. Bristow, MD
JAMA. 1995;274(12):984-986. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530120076045.
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I can clearly remember my first American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates meeting. It was in St Louis, way back in June 1978.

On the night of the new president's inaugural, I was sitting in one of the last rows with Dr George Collins from New York—who went on to become the AMA's secretary-treasurer. The houselights were dimmed; the hall was dark. But the stage was bright with light and the colors from this same wall of flags. A band played with pomp and circumstance, and—just like tonight—the officers and trustees marched onto the stage.

George directed my attention to one trustee walking proudly toward his seat. "Do you know his story?" George asked. I did not know, and this is what he told me.

That man was Frank Jirka, a trustee, who later became president of the AMA.

Courage, Responsibility, Privilege  Frank won't mind my telling you that


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