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The Edward D. Freis Papers

[Distinguished Service Award acceptance speech] pdf (156,315 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Distinguished Service Award acceptance speech]
Typescript draft of speech given on May 10, 1979, accepting the first Distinguished Service Award presented by the editorial board of "Dialogues in Hypertension."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (156,315 Bytes)
1979-05-10 (May 10, 1979)
[Freis, Edward D.]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Awards and Prizes
Exhibit Category:
The VA Cooperative Study and the Beginning of Routine Hypertension Screening, 1964-1980
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 18
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Scrapbooks, 1926-2004
Folder: Scrapbook 33 [photographs], 1980-85
[HANDWRITTEN NOTE: Distinguished Service Award - Editorial Board Dialogues in Hypertension May 10th, 1979.]
Thank you very, very much. This is a great honor for me. I considered for some time whether I should say a few words or just take the prize and run, because I am not very good at this kind of speech making. But then, I thought, if Jim Hunt can write a cook book, I should be able to give an acceptance speech.
Perhaps my greatest accomplishment is that I am probably the only investigator who received an award in hypertension without having published a single paper on renin. I hope this will provide some encouragement for younger investigators. To them I would like to say, "You don't have to measure renin to achieve recognition", but I must admit, it helps. It appears though that the renin monopoly has been challenged recently by what can be referred to as the Salt Talks. The main purpose of the Salt Talks is to retard the dangerous proliferation of renin papers.
For those of you who are not familiar with the inner workings of our trade, I would like to explain that there are two schools of hypertension research, the mechanism school and the pill-pusher school. The mechanists, also known as the pathogeneticists, are the true elite of our profession. They maintain lofty aspirations and they think noble thoughts. The search for the cause of hypertension is for them a sort of Holy Grail. The fact that success seems to elude them does not deter them. In fact, they have occasionally had a modicum of success and at the very least, their efforts often make interesting readings.
The pill-pushers, on the other hand, represent the proletarians of hypertension research. They seldom receive praise or prizes. Their methods are empiric, their approach is "try and see" and their measure of success is just reduction of the blood pressure. Rather than searching for causes they are looking for results and they have enjoyed a considerable measure of success.
I have spent most of my career swimming with my fellow proletarians in the brackish waters of applied drug research. Only occasionally have I worked my way up into the pure fresh water inhabited by the pathogeneticists, where I have managed to lay an egg or two, but only during spawning season.
To be serious, although Jim Hunt mentioned several areas of my work I suspect that it is really the cooperative study that is the major reason for my receiving this award. In that connection and in all seriousness I must express my sincere gratitude and my indebtedness to the many dedicated associates who made this study possible. These individuals include not only the investigators but also the nurses and clinic secretaries who with but few exceptions worked hard and enthusiastically to keep the study on track. Amongst investigators, I want to single out particularly Dr. Eli Ramirez, J. R. Thomas and Perez-Stable. I also want to thank Grace Meyer, who was at that time the chief nurse in my clinic and who labored long and hard and effectively reviewing the report forms with me. My special thanks go to Larry Shaw our biostatistician. His firm and expert guidance saved me from making many grievous errors. Much of the success of the study certainly belongs to him.
Also, although this may sound trite and hackneyed, it is nevertheless true, that whatever achievement I may have attained I owe in considerable measure to Willa Freis. Everything that could be done to make my personal life easy and unencumbered she provided for me. In addition to her encouragement, she gave me the most important gift of all, time; to carry out the work at hand.
Last of all but not least, I want to thank you, my professional colleagues for so honoring me tonight. There is no satisfaction more precious than the esteem of one's peers. Thank you very much for this award.
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