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USMLE Step 2 CS Forum USMLE Step 2 CS Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 2 CS exam


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  #1  
Old 05-11-2015
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Default My step 2 cs experience

Hello all,
I am an IMG from India and have already completed my step 1 and step 2 ck and now step 2 cs as well.......YEYYYYHappy
I would like to share my step 2 cs experience with the members of this forum as i learnt a lot from generous posts of the forum members who took time to post their personal experience. It took me 2.5 months to prepare for this exam..... I know that seems a bit long compared to other posts but that's just me. I didn't know a thing about typing and started my first serious typing practice in January and was still struggling until mid- February when i checked various posts and found this site www.typing.com that worked for me. Now comes the actual exam practice. I started by practicing cases on my family members but it was difficult to simulate the actual exam because they kept forgetting the answers. I found a skype partner through this forum and we started doing cases together; and that really paced the things. I used First aid for the cases, Usmle world for physical examination videos and i did use youtube videos by targetusmle.com. to help organize my patient note. I used a lot of abbreviations other than the usmle website and short cuts like ↑** - Alt 24 ↓ * - Alt 25 * - Alt 248 - Alt 0248 etc to type more efficiently.
Coming to the actual exam..... I took it in Philadelphia, stayed at the nearest possible place and couldn't sleep at night. On the day of exam i had a hearty breakfast and headed to the center which was 5 mins walk from the hotel.
I was not nervous about the exam itself but unsure about my typing skills because i was still taking full 10 min and sometimes a minute more for my patient note. I could not finish my first encounter in time and had to stop in between while counselling my first SP although i managed to answer one of her questions before i had to leave. I did not just rush out, i apologized before leaving that i have an emergency blah blah blah and i was not able to finish my patient note...... i don't remember exactly how much i finished but it was not complete for sure. I managed to complete the 2nd and 3rd encounters but was not able to complete the notes.... although i did write something in all the rows but it was far from being complete. Luckily break came to my rescue. I thought over and in all other encounters started coming out 2 minutes early (which is doable as i watched all American graduates doing that) and was able to complete my patient notes. After the exam i was confused so i just tried to forget whatever i did and waited for the results. I passed with high performance on SEP, CIS and above borderline performance in ICE (understandable my typing). I know it's a long post for you to read so i will summarize for you in pointers.
1) Try to find a partner.... built your stamina to be able to do at least 8 cases per day.
2) Though everyone has his/her own strategy but try to be prepared with the abbreviations, and patient note format that you will use in the actual exam and use it in your practice.
3) Practice typing patient note in a timed mode after each case as you would in actual exam.
4) Stay confident, focused, and be courteous to the sp's , show empathy and don't think about the cases that have gone bad.
5) Doesn't matter whether you wash hands or use gloves whatever you do should not consume too much of your time. Make sure you know your right glove size. Time flies in the actual exam. I wore gloves in all cases except one.
6) Don't listen to the rumors about the good and the bad centers. All the sp's were really nice and cooperative and were willing to give all the information, so always keep space for the open ended question about any questions and concerns but be ready for a load of information coming in really fast as a reply. You might have to rely on your memory if you don't want long pauses in your conversation.
7) Please don't hesitate to ask the sp again if you miss something and it's good idea to familiarize yourself with names of most common medications used in US.
I think this is all i remember so far, and will try to put in more while i try to grasp the fact that i have passed and don't have to sit for long hours practicing typing. Don't underestimate the exam and at the same time don't let it get it to the nerves.
ALL THE BEST
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Ainat (05-11-2015), AMLOOO (05-13-2015), Bird (05-11-2015), citadel08 (05-17-2015), Cubandoc (05-17-2015), Jasonpeng886 (05-23-2015), jvj89 (05-11-2015), mrunal92 (05-13-2015), ndabuah (05-25-2015), pd10 (05-12-2015), sivanileswaram (05-17-2015), syrup86 (05-13-2015), Volkmann (05-11-2015)




  #2  
Old 05-11-2015
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Hi i m same condition like you,slow typer.
Your post gives me hope.my exam on june 3rd.
Doesfirst aid covers?and are the cases complicated like first aid,like could u write 3 d/d in all cases?
About typing did u use bullet?is it ok to write all upper case or lower case?and if pt does not have any PMH,PSH,is it ok not to write even none if i dont have time?
Sorry for too many ques
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird View Post
Hi i m same condition like you,slow typer.
Your post gives me hope.my exam on june 3rd.
Doesfirst aid covers?and are the cases complicated like first aid,like could u write 3 d/d in all cases?
About typing did u use bullet?is it ok to write all upper case or lower case?and if pt does not have any PMH,PSH,is it ok not to write even none if i dont have time?
Sorry for too many ques
Yes first aid covers all of them. They might not be same but you will know what has to be done. The cases were simpler than first aid in the sense that history seemed shorter for most of the cases but at the same time, time seems to fly as well. You would be able to write 3 d/d in almost all the cases but if you do not have 3 you should write only those which you think are appropriate.
I used bullet points but not as detailed as First aid because i did not want to run out of space but used you tube videos for patient note and i used both lower and upper case letters. I don't think so that it will you hurt you to use only upper case letters but using only lower case might be bit tricky with the abbreviations. I used Ctrl c and Ctrl v for copying points from my history to diagnosis and vice versa. Yes if the patient does not have any PMH/PSH you can write none.
I hope this answers your questions.
Good luck for your exam.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2015
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Default Help

Kindly help on following points please:

1.Can you please give e a list of ALT shortcuts you mentioned, they seem to be useful

2.They usually tell you to only do the focused physical examination, so say in a case of cough you did CVS, Respi n general, should you still write like neuro etc...what if you could only do a single system? would only writing that system with GE and VS suffice?

Thanks

Last edited by adipa; 05-14-2015 at 02:52 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adipa View Post
Kindly help on following points please:

1.Can you please give e a list of ALT shortcuts you mentioned, they seem to be useful

2.In the patient not if you do only relevant system examination, say respi in a case, and you don't get any finding in that too, should you write only that system or should you still write all other systems as they do on first aid.

Thanks
http://www.alt-codes.net/ you can use this site for the codes. I only used alt 24 for ↑ , alt 25 for ↓ , alt 248 for (degree) , and alt 0248 for (without). So that I did not have to write in full pain increases or decreases etc..
I did not really get your second question but i will answer based on what i understood. I always tried to mention the general appearance of the SP whether in distress or not as in FA followed by vitals which you do not have to write in full but can write the abnormal vitals and rest WNL as in First aid. Then focus on the system that is complaint relevant and later you can mention about General examination like no clubbing cyanosis etc. You don't have to be very descriptive but try to practice physical examination notes from FA so that it becomes a habit. Don't make up things just write whatever you found in physical examination.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2015
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Hey, thanks much for the post!

You gave me such relieve from my thoughts I have been experiencing regarding special characteristics, I used them well enough, honestly I have never met somebody who actually used them - and wrote here.

Thanks much again:

I used these type shortcuts too:
↑, ↓, ♂, ♀, C, F, and so one...
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