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Old 02-06-2015
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Default My Step 2 CS Experience

So I took my exam in Chicago on December 10th. I spent about 5 weeks in total, studying for this exam.

During the first week, I went through the mini cases twice. First time I just read over it, and the second time around I made study cards. From week 2 - 5, I was practicing the bigger cases with my friend who had already passed the exam. It is really nice getting feedback from someone who has done the exam already, because they know better than anyone else on how to study and prepare for this exam. It is important you practice with someone who is going to give you some serious tough love and to help you get into a routine. First we started off by doing 3 - 4 cases a day, and then as the exam got closer we did 5-6 cases a day. Also, I know a lot of students practice with their family or friends but I would recommend practicing with someone who is in medicine. As an SP, they need to act out every single thing properly and one time I was practicing with my sister, she didn't know how to show that she was in pain on "palpation" lol. So unless you explain every single term to them ahead of time, it is difficult to practice with someone who isn't aware of specific terms. But they are awesome to practice on when you're trying to learn neuro, abdominal exam and etc.

After a while of practicing, I told my friend to make up her own cases from the top of her head and to see whether I am asking the appropriate questions or not and getting the diagnoses. This is because, after you practice the cases over and over again, you know it so well that it is important to keep in mind that you won't get these exact cases. It will be similar but not same. During, the last week of prep, I also went through the mini cases again once more. This exam is all about practice, practice and more practice. Practice asking questions, practice counseling patients and practice doing different exams.

You may be one of those persons who knows the diagnoses and follow up labs by heart but all of that is nothing if you are not empathetic towards your patient and treat them in a way where they are comfortable enough to tell you anything and everything in that exam room.

During the first case, obviously I was so nervous but as soon as I finished it, I wasn't as nervous anymore. It is important to forget each case as you move on to the other. DO NOT beat yourself for missing a questions or something because that is going to affect how you do on the next case you have. So move on from one case to another and don't dwell on anything you missed, because that is going to get you even more nervous and really at the end of the day, it is done and you can't go back and change anything, even if you wanted to.

Make sure you smile, explain everything to your patient as you're doing your physical exam, don't forget to wash hands or put gloves on (i always put gloves on because it is less time consuming) , don't listen to anything over the gown, always as the patient for permission and most importantly let the patient know you are there for them and to help them out with whatever is going on
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anu4usmle (02-09-2015)

Old 02-06-2015
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Steps History: 1 + CS
Posts: 7
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Default cont'd

Here are some of the mistakes that I made during the exam:

1) Didn't finish in time for 2 of my cases. I ran out of time for both during the middle of my closure so at point instead of saying "oh nice meeting you" and leaving the room, I told both of them "sorry, I just received an emergency page that I have to attend to. i will follow up with you. it was nice meeting you"

2) There were a few times I remembered not typing the physical exams that I have conducted. For example, I did a MMSE but totally forgot to write alert and oriented times 3.

3) I didn't pull out the leg thingy for one of my patients.

The stuff that i focused on and made sure i did throughout the whole exam was:
1) To wear gloves for every case

2) I also explained each and every exam i was doing on each patient so that they know what i am looking for

3) I asked for permission before doing anything

4) I was very empathetic towards each patient and made sure I acknowledged their good actions (taking meds on time, stopped smoking, etc)

5) I was always asking questions and having some sort of conversation instead of having a period of silence

6) I smiled at every patient

7) I answered ALL of their "tough questions" to the best of my ability
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The above post was thanked by:
anu4usmle (02-09-2015), geesa (02-16-2015)


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