By the fifth meeting, an interest in political topics was beginning to emerge. Although Dr. Robert Kistner’s talk on “Venous Reconstructive Surgery: The New Horizon” was well received, the new horizon for the club was controversy. Should members be required to perform a specific number of vascular cases per year to maintain membership?
Dr. Robert Kistner
Should the club form a vascular registry? Should inclusion in the registry be a prerequisite for membership? Should the club provide a placement service for vascular surgeons looking for jobs? No clear-cut consensus developed and these topics were ultimately tabled, but, for the first time, the membership began to speak out on topics related to the development of peripheral vascular surgery as a sub-specialty.
At the sixth annual meeting in Dallas in 1981, the controversy regarding limited membership re-emerged. Should the club remain small in order to maintain its informality and open forum for spontaneous discussion? If membership was to remain small, what should be the criteria for selecting new members and should there be a limitation on the number of years that a member could actively participate in the club? Was it to be like the Society for Academic Surgery – strictly a young surgeon’s club?
By the 1982 meeting in Boston, these questions still were unanswered. President Ed Bone realized that the viability of the organization was at stake and that these critical questions must be answered. He formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Membership which was challenged to provide guidance on how to resolve these problems related to the growth of the organization.
At the 1983 meeting in San Francisco, the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership delivered its report. The recommendations were vigorously debated, but the following guidelines were finally agreed upon. – There is no membership limit. – Active members become senior members after 10 years of membership. – Senior members have full voting privileges, but may not hold office or be on any committee except the Executive Committee.