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Letters to the Editor

DOI: 10.1590/S0102-76382005000200019

To be the president of a society... like being a "MOTHER... IS TO SUFFER IN PARADISE".

Anybody chosen in an election to preside over an organization, condominium, association, syndicate, company or governmental institution, above all must understand the great responsibility of his position: both to those who elected him and to those who voted against him.

It is necessary to be honest when working with the resources of the institution that are always insufficient for the implementation of the program approved by the majority. In relation to dreams of modernity, it is impossible to fulfil all the interests of the members. It is however, possible to profit from creativity, something you must have and with which you can occasionally perform a miracle!

Administration with honesty will make many things possible.

The President must be surrounded by good, competent, decent and ethical people who share of same ideals as the majority of the members - without, however, removing the sincere criticism that provides the necessary balance to stop the power going to the head, as even a little power can be overwhelming.

The president must dedicate himself almost completely to the institution, acting for its good for many hours everyday - and every night too - being a magician and an acrobat to coordinate the duties of the president with professional competence. This may make it possible to survive and even pay the family bills, which incessantly increase due to the exorbitant taxes imposed on us.

To be president of a society is to fight against the inevitable bureaucracy, to sign papers and to send official correspondence. It is to be ready to hear criticism, educated or not, fair or absurd, all in the name of the good of the institution.

It is to be prepared to travel - for meetings involving hard work. The trips make some people dream about being president too. But these individuals forget that sometimes it is necessary to travel to places you do not want to go to, with individuals with whom you would prefer not to travel and when to start to enjoy yourself - because even in Hell there are attractions - you have to come back...

It is always to listen to the wishes of the electors, to consider the requests and to have the poise to decide in the interest of the majority, submitting yourself to the complaints of the unsatisfied. It is to be balanced so as not to become irritated at those who do not meet their financial obligations with the institution, behavior that harms not only the membership but the individual too.

The suffering is much. There are more examples too boring to mention. But paradise exists... To be a president with the support and the respect of colleagues is very fulfilling, especially when many of them meet for the annual congress. They go to enjoy the pleasures of meeting again and to embrace, to become richer with an exchange of experiences, to pay homage to the masters and to see in the eyes of each one - the eyes that are the window to the soul - approval of results that were achieved by the staff during the entire year.

To be a dedicated president, worried about the common good, to be responsible in attitude (even having to work so hard), often harms professional and even family activities, it does not stop the suffering. But, as the philosopher says, to be president is to be like a mother... it is suffering in the paradise of an obligation well done!

Dr. Alexandre Visconti Brick
President of the Brazilian Society of Cardiovascular Surgery (BSCVS)

Luiz Mendonça
Parliamentary press officer of the BSCVS


After reading the special article published in your journal entitled "Importance of the correct use of descriptors in scientific articles" in volume 20, n. 1, 2005, we would initially like to congratulate you together with the authors for your educative initiation in respect to the use of descriptors.

As librarians we have come across some inconsistencies which we would like to point out, in order to improve the article.

1) In the text where the MeSH database in the NLM is mentioned as Reference 1, this reference does not really correspond to this article but corresponds to an article which I wrote about the DeCS database. (Pellizzon RF. Published in the Acta Cir Bras).

2) In the item SEARCH there is a suggestion to consult using DeCS by the Alphabetic Index Consultation, when in truth the ideal search for all the descriptors contained in the root of the word inputted is by Permutated Index Consultation, which provides a general view of all the words contained in the researched descriptor.

3) Also in the item SEARCH the e-mail cited to access the MeSH database is incorrect. The correct address is

4) Also in the item SEARCH, researching the MeSH database when it mentions that the qualifiers must be researched in the item "Allowable Qualifiers" we suggest that you mention that in this search using 'all of above' the qualifiers also appear and farther down the tree structures appears (which corresponds to the hierarchical index where the descriptor appears within a large subject area hierarchically related to it).

5) In the item RISKS - the author OLIVEIRA et al. should appear as Oliveira et al. as capital letters characterize the standardization defined by the Brazilian Association of Technical Norms and not by the Vancouver Group, which is adopted by your journal.

Congratulations for the initiative in collaborating in the standardization of the terminology of scientific articles and consequently in the improvement of access to health science databases.

Maria Elisa Rangel Braga
Directress of Central Library of Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Unifesp

Rosely de Fátima Pellinzon
Responsible Librarian of Reference Section of Central Library - Unifesp-EPM
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