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January 6, 1975

"Bloody Saturday"

JAMA. 1975;231(1):70-71. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130052032

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"Bloody Saturday" (Oct 26) has come and gone. This was the day that some 4,000 of the fearless faithful gathered in nervous clusters across the country to take the 6 1/2-hour American College of Physicians-American Board of Internal Medicine recertification examination. The results will be announced on St. Valentine's Day (a date well known in another context in Chicago history).

Why would a middle-aged, comfortably certified internist submit voluntarily to a tough, possibly humiliating experience? Looking about the room at the Ambassador Hotel, I was sure that motives ranged widely: some were curious; some were driven by that compulsive dibbuk that characterizes many of our peculiar breed; some, because it would be embarrassing to be the only one in the department not to hang up a recertification certificate; some, to make a last ditch effort to finally get "caught up."

I can only speak for myself: it was a disconcerting