In this presidential address, I will share my belief that our proud and noble field stands at the dawn of a great renaissance. I further believe that this is the third such renaissance that has occurred in surgery. As described herein, the first renaissance in surgery occurred during the 1600s, which involved a transformation in operative care unlike anything that had been seen since Roman times. This first renaissance was triggered by tumultuous world events but was spurred on by the invention of the printing press. The second renaissance occurred during the 1980s and was triggered by the invention of the computer, which is of equal significance to the printing press 240 years earlier. I believe that this third renaissance shares with the earlier renaissances its transformative nature and its reaction to turmoil, both in the medical and nonmedical worlds. This is a renaissance driven by science, by creativity, and by innovation - resources that are never in short supply within our great profession.
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