|Origins: Dr. Jensen Board P.R.E.P. 1990-present
The first Ranger course for Boards was in Boston at the Cambridge
Sheraton Commander September 13-15, 1991. Since then, over 330
platoons have come and gone, with many promotions to Captain. It
may interest some of you to know how the program started.
First, I was long frustrated that my scores on standardized tests
didn't reflect my true abilities or knowledge. This is how I
became interested in the Written examination--by making preparation
a science. I am increasingly convinced that optimizing performance
depends upon proper preparation and upon focusing upon and
developing the knowlege and skills required in the exam room. In
an effort to improve my own chances, I developed materials and
techniques of study and focus which pushed me over the top. Time
has shown these can be decisive in the success of others.
Another important factor was family tradition. F. Scott Fitzgerald
wrote, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back
ceaselessly into the past." I come from a family of teachers. My
grandmother was a third grade teacher in the public schools of central
Utah. She always set high goals and demanded much. She died in her
late 70's but many of her students remembered her with great fondness
and respect. My grandfather was also an energetic and inspiring
teacher committed to service. Not many would leave a spouse and three
young children at the peak of the Great Depression and travel far from
home to fulfill a religious calling. He did.
My father was a general surgeon who was on the teaching service at the
University of Utah for thirty years. He passed away at 71. He was an
indefatigable and caring physician who taught surgery to hundreds of
residents. On weekends, he read the Great Books in the bathtub, hit
fly-balls to his children on a baseball diamond, and rode horses on
his father's ranch. He loved philosophy, the game of baseball, and a
good saddle horse. He was a loving and demanding father of seven
children. Five of us became physicians, one a registered nurse, and
one an attorney. I only wish I could be the father and man he was.
While acting as a coach in anesthesiology Board preparation is a natural
extension of my traditions, for you it is a final academic hurdle. Many
of you are just starting out and believe that Boards are only about
getting a job, becoming a partner, or billing an insurance company.
This is only partially true. Beyond this, you have always done well
and much has been invested in you and your success. Like me, you are a
son or daughter of some very proud parents. Given these factors, Board
certification is also about excellence and achievement, not only
professional but personal.
My interest in the Oral examination is an outgrowth of my life-long
interest and experience in public speaking and presentation. I have
now personally administered more oral practice exams, by a considerable
margin, than anyone in the United States--living or dead.
Over the past fifteen years, I am very proud to have sponsored many courses
and to have worked with several thousand fine anesthesiologists. We
have not yet changed the system, which is flawed, but much good has been
done in terms of helping people escape from it in an efficient manner.
More than that, perhaps, I know from the letters and calls received that
many Rangers believe the program made them better anesthesiologists.
If you have any further questions or comments, please let me know. You
can email me by clicking on the email link below.