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Old 07-23-2012
kundra's Avatar
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Smile Time to give back

Hey guys, I PASSED my cs exam a month back, but could not get time to write the experience for those who will be appearing and for those who are waiting.
I do not remember much of it now but I do remember important things that need to be taken into account when u are about to take the exam.

I took mine in Houston before the change took place.
Most of the students were IMG's as it seemed, and as every body says Houston is indeed a friendly place, but I will guess it depends on your day, if on your exam day there are proportionally more IMG's as compared to AMG's than on that day the center is "friendly". But because the reputation of the place precede when we choose that so most people choose Houston so that makes it friendly on most number of days. Because believe me I remember 2 AMG's at my center and those guys were very quick. They were the first to go in and first to come out and appeared as if they hardly did anything in there. Even in one case when I was out by 3-3.5mins remaining(my quickest encounter) I saw them both already typing the patient notes, so obviously if u have more number of these students at ur center you are in trouble my friend.

Now about my preparation. I took my CS after 4 weeks of my CK so that helped a bit for the theory part.
Sources: FA and CSE videos.
I went through FA a couple of times by myself and then when I could not find any partner/ friend to practise with I panicked.
None of my friends had heard about the CSE videos so had no review of it except for this forum, so I decided to take it for 1week and they gave 3 more free days.
CSE videos were THE Best source of my preparation as they helped me orient that atmosphere, I did every thing as was shown and that was reason for my confidence. Even though I have done 2 rotations before my CS in US hospitals but still that exam encounter is something new for everybody as even in hospitals you dont come across any thing like it.
In the end 2 weeks before my exam I managed to find one friend of mine who had recently passed his cs exam, that too at Houston so I practiced with him couple of times, in a timed manner, I always used to finish it by 12-13 minutes except for a neuro exam which at times did take a minute longer, but I would usually forget some important questions or fumble/pause for few seconds before thinking what to ask next.
So that's why I would say practice with a friend is really important as even though u may cram FA by heart but in exam stress you are bound to forget few things which can be rectified by only practice.

Now over to my mistakes.
1. First case could not finish the exam, was a neuro case,did neuro exam but somehow went for cardio exam and ran out of time, no closure at all.
2. Another case similar thing, could not finish exam and did not even start closure.
3. Did not do fundoscopy in any HTN case and I had like7-8 in total who had HTN as an accompanying mistake.
4. In 1-2 patient notes could not reach all 5 differentials,hardly3-4 D/D's.
5. In one case forgot to ask anything beyond HOPI. which I realised after i had done typing HOPI and had no past/personal or anything like that..so I left it like that and went on to the P/E.
6. In hearing loss, had done all ear exam but forgot to mention in my PN anything except wber's/rinne's.
7. In another case, had done thyroid exam but forgot to mention it in my PN and hyperthyroidism was 2-3rd most probable differential.
8. Did not take off my gloves in like 7-8 encounters and use to take it out before starting my PN.

Things I did right..
1. Always counseled about smoking/alcohol/CAGE right at that moment.
2. was friendly, answered their questions, took consent before each exam and explained what i was about to do and what did i find in it.
3. used gloves in all encounters.

In the end when i came out without managing to close in 2 cases, i thought will surely be sitting again for this exam and this forum's page about CS mistakes was the only solace I could find.
Was lucky did not have to wait for like 2 months and had my result back in 1 month and passed with Borderline High performance.
So just want to thank you all people who had pitched in their contribution to make it easy for somebody like me.

Feel free to ask anything will answer as and when i could !!
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The above post was thanked by:
drortho (07-26-2012), lysogeny (08-08-2012), step_enhancer (07-28-2012), vishal_bendre (07-30-2012)

Old 07-29-2012
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thanks you kudra for your detailed experience after a long time and done with step 1 i am taking the cs this monday and will post my experencie wish me luck thanks
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Old 07-30-2012
kundra's Avatar
USMLE Forums Scout
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 99
Threads: 12
Thanked 62 Times in 27 Posts
Reputation: 72

good luck..once it starts time will fly and you will be out in no time..so manage ur time well!!
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