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  #1  
Old 04-25-2015
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Default Volkmann step 2CS experience

Hi everyone. I thought I might post my step 2CS exam preparation and experience in the hope it will help others preparing for this exam.
Background: IMG. Completed step 2CK in November of 2014
Preparation time: About two months. Honestly if you're fresh off step 2CK you can sit for this exam the following day provided you're familiar with patient care in the US. However, if you're like me and are used to a vastly different system in your home country, take at least a month to prepare as well as you can.
Venue: Houston, Texas in late April of 2015. I live closer to another center which has a bad reputation for failing IMGs. I'm sure these claims are false but I didn't want to take a risk, so I scheduled my test at Houston. The center itself was great and located close to the airport and many hotels. The proctors were courteous and professional and the overall experience was awesome. If I fail, I certainly can't blame the location. Weirdly enough most of the candidates were IMGs. I'm certain that only one guy was an AMG and the other 20+ candidates seemed to all be IMGs. So if you're worried about bias due to being in the minority, Houston seems like a safe bet.
Preparation: FA for step 2CS and Kaplan core cases. For the history and examination components Kaplan was very good. For the cases themselves, FA is invaluable. I initially studied the mnemonics from Kaplan- all the SIQORAA and PAM HR FOSS, then developed a system for examinations. Kaplan core cases was really useful for this. I then studied the minicases thoroughly and started practicing the main cases in FA. THATS ALL YOU NEED IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE FOR THIS EXAM. Look at the youtube videos by Dr. Laura Miranda. Her step 2CS videos are really useful when starting to prepare for this exam. Besides the books you need a good partner to practice the cases with. I don't see how you can manage time without having practiced all the cases in FA. Ideally you should find someone who's studying for the exam as well but any intelligent person will do. I practiced with my wife who really helped me and pointed out tons of mistakes I made without even realizing. Here are some tips I came up with during the course of my preparation,
1) Practice, practice, practice. Set the timer to 14 minutes and do the entire case properly. Then set the timer to 9 minutes and write the patient note on the test software immediately afterwards. YOU WILL BE CRAZY NERVOUS DURING THE EXAM AND UNLESS YOU'VE GOT EVERYTHING DOWN TO A ROUTINE EVEN BASIC STUFF WILL BE FORGOTTEN. In my first case I forgot to ask ob/gyn history and made tons of other mistakes through sheer nerves.
2) Do the same thing for every patient. You will have different types of patients being portrayed at the exam but your introduction, summary and closure have to be there for each and every encounter. So even if the patient is frothing at the mouth and being a total tool, still summarize....still do the closure and ask if he/she has any other questions.
3) Typing speed- google typing speed test and see how fast you type. If you're over 30 words per minute consistently, don't worry. I have to look at the keyboard when I type but I managed to finish all my notes on time. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the software because I once forgot to click on the history space and found myself typing like a dervish for a minute without having anything register in the box. I thought the patient notes in FA were great. Lets hope they're enough for me to pass.
4) Develop a system for a focused examination. You wont have time to do all the exams. NEURO CASES TAKE TIME. So once again....Practice, practice, practice.
5) UWORLD cases were useful. The subscription is only $50 for a month
6) I found CSE video only average and the subscription is very expensive.
The EXAM itself: I traveled to Houston with my wife the day before the exam and stayed at an inn close-by. The center is pretty easy to find. Get to the venue by 7:45am at the latest. Your permit and ID will be checked and you'll be ushered into a room where the other candidates will be sitting. Next they'll clip your number to either shoulder and the orientation will begin. This is really important. The equipment will be in the room where the orientation takes place and you'll be given a good ten minutes to familiarize yourself. The patient encounters will follow. You'll be given a 10 minute break between each set of three encounters with a 30 minute lunch break after the sixth encounter. You can't take anything into the room except your ID, cash or credit cards. You can't even take tissues. I can't discuss the cases but I will say they all seemed fair and FA mini cases and main cases are great preparation for them. I was going to list all the mistakes I made but realized it's pointless and torturing myself after the fact won't change the result.
SUMMARY: Its a scary but fair exam. I hope the marking will be fair too. Houston is a great center. Stick to FA and Kaplan core cases. Find a good partner and Practice, practice, practice. Feel free to ask any questions. I'll post my result when I get it. Fingers crossed. Remember.....Practice, practice, practice.

Last edited by Volkmann; 04-26-2015 at 05:43 AM.
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Bird (04-26-2015), citadel08 (04-25-2015), drpisho (04-26-2015), mkostek (04-25-2015), pd10 (04-26-2015), seniortaker (04-25-2015)




  #2  
Old 04-25-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
I was going to list all the mistakes I made but realized it's pointless and torturing myself after the fact won't change the result.
Fingers crossed. Remember.....Practice, practice, practice.
The same condition - man - when you took the Exam - waiting period for till June 24 - July 22 ...
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2015
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Hi thanx for post. I have one ques,some minicases are not in practice case like dysphagia,wkness etc,also lots of child behavior cases in FA.can u recommend what to do for those.
I m sure like ur CK ,u also did great in CS
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird View Post
Hi thanx for post. I have one ques,some minicases are not in practice case like dysphagia,wkness etc,also lots of child behavior cases in FA.can u recommend what to do for those.
I m sure like ur CK ,u also did great in CS
kAPLAN Core cases -3rd Ed. Ph. Broadmann has one cases - with Child Behavioral Problem → Tantrum : Familiarize yourself with it. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2015
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Originally Posted by Bird View Post
Hi thanx for post. I have one ques,some minicases are not in practice case like dysphagia,wkness etc,also lots of child behavior cases in FA.can u recommend what to do for those.
I m sure like ur CK ,u also did great in CS
Like citadel said, look at the tantrum case in Kaplan, for the other peds cases FA is more than enough. Just have the differentials in mind for the other stuff. For example, numbness.....think MS, GBS if it's a young person. Stroke, TIA, hypoglycemia if it's an old person. The SPs tell you the pertinent stuff pretty easily.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
Hi everyone. I thought I might post my step 2CS exam preparation and experience in the hope it will help others preparing for this exam.
Background: IMG. Completed step 2CK in November of 2014
Preparation time: About two months. Honestly if you're fresh off step 2CK you can sit for this exam the following day provided you're familiar with patient care in the US. However, if you're like me and are used to a vastly different system in your home country, take at least a month to prepare as well as you can.
Venue: Houston, Texas in late April of 2015. I live closer to another center which has a bad reputation for failing IMGs. I'm sure these claims are false but I didn't want to take a risk, so I scheduled my test at Houston. The center itself was great and located close to the airport and many hotels. The proctors were courteous and professional and the overall experience was awesome. If I fail, I certainly can't blame the location. Weirdly enough most of the candidates were IMGs. I'm certain that only one guy was an AMG and the other 20+ candidates seemed to all be IMGs. So if you're worried about bias due to being in the minority, Houston seems like a safe bet.
Preparation: FA for step 2CS and Kaplan core cases. For the history and examination components Kaplan was very good. For the cases themselves, FA is invaluable. I initially studied the mnemonics from Kaplan- all the SIQORAA and PAM HR FOSS, then developed a system for examinations. Kaplan core cases was really useful for this. I then studied the minicases thoroughly and started practicing the main cases in FA. THATS ALL YOU NEED IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE FOR THIS EXAM. Look at the youtube videos by Dr. Laura Miranda. Her step 2CS videos are really useful when starting to prepare for this exam. Besides the books you need a good partner to practice the cases with. I don't see how you can manage time without having practiced all the cases in FA. Ideally you should find someone who's studying for the exam as well but any intelligent person will do. I practiced with my wife who really helped me and pointed out tons of mistakes I made without even realizing. Here are some tips I came up with during the course of my preparation,
1) Practice, practice, practice. Set the timer to 14 minutes and do the entire case properly. Then set the timer to 9 minutes and write the patient note on the test software immediately afterwards. YOU WILL BE CRAZY NERVOUS DURING THE EXAM AND UNLESS YOU'VE GOT EVERYTHING DOWN TO A ROUTINE EVEN BASIC STUFF WILL BE FORGOTTEN. In my first case I forgot to ask ob/gyn history and made tons of other mistakes through sheer nerves.
2) Do the same thing for every patient. You will have different types of patients being portrayed at the exam but your introduction, summary and closure have to be there for each and every encounter. So even if the patient is frothing at the mouth and being a total tool, still summarize....still do the closure and ask if he/she has any other questions.
3) Typing speed- google typing speed test and see how fast you type. If you're over 30 words per minute consistently, don't worry. I have to look at the keyboard when I type but I managed to finish all my notes on time. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the software because I once forgot to click on the history space and found myself typing like a dervish for a minute without having anything register in the box. I thought the patient notes in FA were great. Lets hope they're enough for me to pass.
4) Develop a system for a focused examination. You wont have time to do all the exams. NEURO CASES TAKE TIME. So once again....Practice, practice, practice.
5) UWORLD cases were useful. The subscription is only $50 for a month
6) I found CSE video only average and the subscription is very expensive.
The EXAM itself: I traveled to Houston with my wife the day before the exam and stayed at an inn close-by. The center is pretty easy to find. Get to the venue by 7:45am at the latest. Your permit and ID will be checked and you'll be ushered into a room where the other candidates will be sitting. Next they'll clip your number to either shoulder and the orientation will begin. This is really important. The equipment will be in the room where the orientation takes place and you'll be given a good ten minutes to familiarize yourself. The patient encounters will follow. You'll be given a 10 minute break between each set of three encounters with a 30 minute lunch break after the sixth encounter. You can't take anything into the room except your ID, cash or credit cards. You can't even take tissues. I can't discuss the cases but I will say they all seemed fair and FA mini cases and main cases are great preparation for them. I was going to list all the mistakes I made but realized it's pointless and torturing myself after the fact won't change the result.
SUMMARY: Its a scary but fair exam. I hope the marking will be fair too. Houston is a great center. Stick to FA and Kaplan core cases. Find a good partner and Practice, practice, practice. Feel free to ask any questions. I'll post my result when I get it. Fingers crossed. Remember.....Practice, practice, practice.
Hey man, thanks for sharing ur experience, u will do great...
I am a beginner, can u advice me "how can I improve my sep "
That will be very helpful
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2015
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Thanx Volkman and Citadel for ur reply.
And one more ques,should we write orthostatic vital signs and Dix Hallpike maneuver to work up or should we do these at physical exam?
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2015
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Originally Posted by Bird View Post
Thanx Volkman and Citadel for ur reply.
And one more ques,should we write orthostatic vital signs and Dix Hallpike maneuver to work up or should we do these at physical exam?
I don't really know the right answer since I don't know whether I've even passed. I feel that you should never recheck BP or do the Dix Hall pike. You're not going to get an actual patient with postural hypotension or BPPV. It's all fake. I had a patient with PR 60/min that had a good 80/min beat going but the slow pulse was a plus point in the diagnosis. Don't waste time doing stuff that won't help.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2015
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Originally Posted by mahmuda View Post
Hey man, thanks for sharing ur experience, u will do great...
I am a beginner, can u advice me "how can I improve my sep "
That will be very helpful
I think you should practice speaking with people fluent in English. An accent is OK provided you can string together grammatically correct sentences. Listen to the radio, practice your intro a hundred times. You'll be saying very similar things for every case. So just Practice, practice, practice.
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Old 04-27-2015
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Thanks man
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2015
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Follow up. I received my results today and found I passed. My ICE was midway between borderline and high performance but my CIS was almost touching the borderline. SEP was high performance with a star. So I guess not putting pertinent negatives didn't hurt my ICE too much. I have no idea what happened to my CIS. I was as courteous as possible and kissed major ass. I suppose I didn't smile enough. Don't take this exam lightly guys. I would've failed had I prepared any less.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2015
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Congratulations Volkmann! And thank you for practicing with me
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2016
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Can you please share kaplan core cases ?i couldnot find them.thanks
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