Mechanism of Progress. Page from the History of Cardiovascular Surgery

  • Harris B. ShumackerJr.
Conference paper


Nothing could please me more than to have the privilege and honor of taking part, together with my close friends and distinguished colleagues, Stanley Crawford, Charles Dubost, and David Sabiston, in this important International Symposium’s opening Plenary Session which honors one of our hosts and participants, Michael E. DeBakey, upon his retirement from the Presidency of the Baylor College of Medicine. This high post he has held with true eminence through periods of smooth sailing and rough seas, those of rapid, easy progress and of difficult times as well, always maintaining a forward course, so that this institution, which we consider his “Center of Medical Advancement”, has become a Mecca for thousands who have sought and gained inspiration and instruction from it. He has helped it grow and acquire the best hospital, library and laboratory aids, but has always kept clearly in mind that great institutions are not made with bricks and mortar, nor even with books and manuscripts, but with people — people who can perform their professional obligations with real skill and who, at the same time, can think critically, receptively, and with originality. He has adhered to the basic philosophy that the primary functions of a medical center must include, in addition to the best possible teaching and post-doctoral training and the most effective clinical care of the patients who come to it for help, an ongoing, vigorous and productive research program. He has realized full well that investigative work is invaluable, not only because of the new knowledge it may yield, but also because it is essential for creating the ideal environment in which young men and women may reach their full potential development. In addition to his local duties, he has given freely of his time to our and other governments, commissions, committees, and societies. Anyone who has had the opportunity of serving with him can recall his apparently placid arrival just in the nick of time after a long day’s work in Houston and his hurried farewell once the conference was over in order to return for an early start the next morning following a long night’s flight back to Texas.


Constrictive Pericarditis Autogenous Vein Graft Real Skill Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis Smooth Sailing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1980

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  • Harris B. ShumackerJr.

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