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The AFMR has undergone a sea change since its inception 75 years ago - growing in membership and eminence through the 1970s and 1980s and then over the past 20 years witnessing a conspicuous decline. I believe this recent trend resulted mostly from the growth and competition of subspecialty societies, combined with the increasing time demands of clinical work, institutional requirements and limited funds. As the prominence of the national meeting waned, the lifeblood of the society became the regional meetings. For many investigators, including myself, the AFCR regional meetings were an introduction to the culture of a biomedical research meeting and the place where they gave their very first formal research presentation. In my case, I was a medical student from Iowa in 1987 and it was my first time visiting Chicago. I remember being awed at the sights of the city and the elegant décor of the historic Drake Hotel where the meeting was held. Dr. Frank Abboud, the Chairmen of Medicine at the University of Iowa at the time and past-president of the AFCR, always championed Iowa as being the best …
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