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Board Examinations

Gil Hauer Santos, MD
JAMA. 1980;243(2):120-121. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300280018015.
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To the Editor.—  When I was a boy in my early teens, I wanted eagerly to play an oboe in our high school orchestra. With this hope in mind, I approached the orchestra's director to whom I presented my request. He instructed me to come back later, so that he could listen to me. That day, after playing for him for ten minutes, he appointed me as an oboist for the next eight years of my life. I can still remember the old Jesuit musician puffing a cigar while listening to my nervous performance. Alas! If he had been oriented to evaluate his candidates as the American Board of Surgery does, he would probably have handed me a page containing questions such as the following:

  1. The following instruments are woodwinds except the

    • bassoon.

    • oboe.

    • clarinet.

    • trumpet.

  2. The sound in the oboe is originated by


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