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Beauty queens and the Annual Smoker

A retrospective look at Annual Sessions of yore

From the March 1997 ACP Observer, copyright © 1997 by the American College of Physicians.

Few people today would consider a photo opportunity with a beauty queen the highlight of Annual Session but times were different in 1958.

That's not all that's changed about Annual Session. Also gone are social events like the Annual Smoker, where attendees and their spouses gathered at the end of the first day to listen to impersonations and musical hits of the day, the dinner banquet and the post-convocation Presidential Reception, which included dancing for all attendees.

But the core of the session remains the same: bringing together internists who want to enhance their skills and discuss advances in the field with colleagues, much like internists who attended the first scientific session in December of 1916. At that first Annual Session in New York, one internist surmised that the creation of the College marked a new era in American medicine, and that the session would determine a new standard for scientific work in the profession.

And it has.

At Annual Sessions in cities around the country—New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlantic City, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston—the meetings have consistently drawn attention from the members in the scientific community and in the media.

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