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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 12-05-2012
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Smile Step 2 CS experience August 2012 Houston

Hello everyone
First I thank God for my wonderful results received December 5th 2012.

My background:
IMG. Not taken Step 1 but have been preparing.
YOG: 2010
Preparation time:
Duration - about 6 weeks
Material used - FA 3rd edition.
How?
- I first read the introduction and practiced answering SP questions. I also looked throughout all mnemonics available on forums. I printed them out and just mastered a few basic ones.
- I went straight to practice after about 1 week of reading FA and watching a few CSE videos just to get the pace of things.
- I went through all 41 cases thrice. I did 5 cases daily for the first two weeks then later did 8-12 daily in timed mode. In my first round I didn't write patient notes but timed my cases always. Then after each day I'd read on the cases I did from online or another text book.
- my study partner was my mom...she has no medical training whatsoever. She was my SP. We simulated all cases and timed too. In second round I did case and then typed note just like in the exam...and I always did at least 5cases in a row.
- I practiced 12 cases at least for 7days and read a lot of experiences on the forums. I did not use mnemonics much except for my past history and pediatrics cases just to guide me. But after so much practice I didn't need mnemonics as they prevented me from thinking.

Exam day.
I traveled to US 4days before exam. Had stopped studying about 1week to exam. I didn't study all week. I only slept and went out sight seeing. I read a little the morning of exam just to review my differential diagnoses.
Exam was easy to me...I think because I was over prepared. I never run out of time neither in encounter nor patient note. I was comfortable. I don't recall many errors actually...besides forgetting to do some counseling in one case.
I passed my exam with higher performance in all three components.

My advice.
Study hard. Practice as much as you can is the key but you need to have basic knowledge on the disease presentations so you can easily know what to ask in order to rule out differentials. I think it is better to have mnemonics for differentials which you write at the door before entering...and your PAMHUG whatever...I modified all my mnemonics to suit me...lol...be confident. Better wear gloves then wash your hands. And smile.

I thank Dr. Laura very much for her constant updates...she encouraged me a lot...you should watch her YouTube videos when you feel lost or down.

This forum helped me so much so please ask me anything and I'd reply as soon as I get off work. PM me if you prefer...I'd reply each one of them. I'm preparing for step 1 now. God help me.

All the best to those still preparing...key...practice and read and confidence and calm...you'd be just fine.

Adios.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012
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pls...i wanna know how u handled this new CIS part of the exam which has 5 components now,,,,most of people that i know that took the new cs failed the CIS bcos of the new changes in cs
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvon View Post
pls...i wanna know how u handled this new CIS part of the exam which has 5 components now,,,,most of people that i know that took the new cs failed the CIS bcos of the new changes in cs
Hey
I'm not sure how I was scored in each component. So I'd tell you what I did. In my head I tried to create a rapport with each patient...even the difficult ones.
1. I showed empathy even in my expression
2. I listened carefully and asked them how they felt about their problem, if and how it affected them and their spouse, family, work etc.
3. I asked if they had any questions after my closure and tried to reassure as much as possible...even mothers in pediatrics cases.
4. I always talked with the patient throughout...like while I'm putting on gloves I'd say "okay Ms. X I'd first of all like to examine your heart and knee and then do a general exam just so that we don't miss out anything"
5. I always asked permission to do anything...may I lift your drape, I'd like to listen to your heart now-is that okay? Etc etc...it may sound monotonous to you but I think it makes them feel they are in control.
6. I always asked...you look worried, may I know why?...when I saw worry or anxiety...or you don't sound very satisfied...is there anything more you'd like us to look at...etc etc...

So basically I created a rapport with each patient and made them feel in control and I was not in q hurry or doing an exam. Oh drapping...very important...I was careful to do it every single time and thoroughly...I think that helps too.

I hope I've answered your questions and helped. If I think of anything more I'd write.

Adios.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012
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thanks alot...i feel a bit relieved after reading ur reply on my 1st question....hope am not bothering u too much,,,,but i have some other questions pls pls cos my exam is coming soon
1...u said u used gloves....am i correct..is dat better than hand washing
2...in giving reasons for ur differential diagnoses,did u fill up the spaces,....in my practise,i find it difficult in some cases getting reasons in my physical exam to support the diagnosis...take for intance a case of depression or Amenorrhea....after physical exam,it may be hard to get reasons to support the diagnosis.....pls tell me how u tackled these in ur exam
3...i am very slow in typing......find it difficult to finish a case in 10 mins...even after practising for a long time cos am not used to typing b4 i came to USA....did u finish all ur cases...i mean typing all of them....pls advise me here and which typing method did u use...the full or broken one.
4...they say u can add both positive and negative findings to support dianosis,,,,can u pls give me examples of what they mean by negative findings using any case at all...cos i find it hard to understand
5....i want to thank u for ur time....pls help me in answering these questions...ur help will be highly appreciated....i may even wish to speak with u on phone if u wish.....u can let me know so i can send u my email adress to send me ur number .....thanks in advance,,,,i appreciate
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvon View Post
thanks alot...i feel a bit relieved after reading ur reply on my 1st question....hope am not bothering u too much,,,,but i have some other questions pls pls cos my exam is coming soon
1...u said u used gloves....am i correct..is dat better than hand washing
Hi,

I am ready to answer all your questions to the best that i can. I am writing here on the forum so that others can benefit from it too.

1. Yes i think using gloves was better than washing your hands because it saves you time and you can pick the gloves and look towards the patient while putting them on and keep talking with them. I used this time of gloves wearing to brief the SP on what I was going to examine.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvon View Post
thanks alot...i feel a bit relieved after reading ur reply on my 1st question....hope am not bothering u too much,,,,but i have some other questions pls pls cos my exam is coming soon
1...u said u used gloves....am i correct..is dat better than hand washing
2...in giving reasons for ur differential diagnoses,did u fill up the spaces,....in my practise,i find it difficult in some cases getting reasons in my physical exam to support the diagnosis...take for intance a case of depression or Amenorrhea....after physical exam,it may be hard to get reasons to support the diagnosis.....pls tell me how u tackled these in ur exam
2. It was a little hard at first when I started practising to give reasons for differentials, but it helped that my medical school tested us in the same way...that is you had to give 3 differentials at the most and reasons for and against each one, then your workup. Again...reading a little on the various clinical presentations of the cases in FA helped easily find and write down these reasons. Where you find nothing on PE, leave it blank...that is what I did. In a case of depression, PE you see an anxious looking patient, maybe looking tired or had slept off as you entered...that is what I would have written in PE anyway. In a place where I was not sure, i just left it blank but I don't recall any case where I left findings blank.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvon View Post
thanks alot...i feel a bit relieved after reading ur reply on my 1st question....hope am not bothering u too much,,,,but i have some other questions pls pls cos my exam is coming soon

3...i am very slow in typing......find it difficult to finish a case in 10 mins...even after practising for a long time cos am not used to typing b4 i came to USA....did u finish all ur cases...i mean typing all of them....pls advise me here and which typing method did u use...the full or broken one.
3. Here I am a little lost on how to help you. I know many people who took the exam and are really slow in typing...really slow...but I type quite okay but I don't think it should be a problem for you. In my experience, I think the cases were very straight forward and if you keep your encounter focused yet thorough, you will have at least 2-5 minutes from encounter to get a head start on your patient note. Either way, the 10 minutes was enough for me...I finished typing every single case and had time to read through each one...I used abbreviations that the ecfmg website mentioned and also some ones I picked up from this forum, where appropriate and i think this saved me time...like I could write...27 y o F c/o fever x 2d...etc...just search and you will find several of them especially from Sabio.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2012
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvon View Post
thanks alot...i feel a bit relieved after reading ur reply on my 1st question....hope am not bothering u too much,,,,but i have some other questions pls pls cos my exam is coming soon

4...they say u can add both positive and negative findings to support dianosis,,,,can u pls give me examples of what they mean by negative findings using any case at all...cos i find it hard to understand
5....i want to thank u for ur time....pls help me in answering these questions...ur help will be highly appreciated....i may even wish to speak with u on phone if u wish.....u can let me know so i can send u my email adress to send me ur number .....thanks in advance,,,,i appreciate
4. I think they mean you did not find a sign or symptom that supported your diagnosis. For example if you have a case of depression and one of your differentials is hypothyroidism...you could write that: no skin or hair changes, no hoarseness, etc...this is just to show that you know what you were looking for and did not find them related to this case. I think they are trying to prevent us from being monotonous, cram a few diagnoses and just list them...I think they want us to THINK through each encounter and show that we did...

I hope I helped. Again, ask me any question and i will find time to answer. This forum has helped me a lot and I don't mind being of help to others even if it is just one person.

Adios.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012
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thanks so much....
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012
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Default My Exam within 2 weeks

can you send me a copy of the mnemonics that u have , my e-mail : laith206@uab.edu
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2012
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Thank you so much!!! That is what this forum is all about.. Helping each other through this tough moment. I'm happy you were victorious!!!!
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2012
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Default thank you

i read your post.i am preparing for CS.this has indeed helped me a lot.i want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sibghat048 View Post
i read your post.i am preparing for CS.this has indeed helped me a lot.i want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am glad I could help. I hope you do great in your exam.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2012
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Smile Much thanks !

Hello! I just read your post... Ive intended to give the CS exam after my elective this summer and your post is extremely helpful! however if I need any help, I can ask though right ? since I just got my FA and my partner and I are going to plan out a schedule, I really dont know what to question on but will bug you if need be much thanks! may God bless you.
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2012
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congratz .....


i would like to ask you: can I write the mnemonics that i want before I enter the room?
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  #16  
Old 12-21-2012
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I'm here... Let me know!
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2012
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I am happy to help anytime I can. just message me and I'd answer your questions as much as I can. I'm working full time and preparing for step 1 too so I may take a few hours to reply, but I will reply. wish you all the best.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2012
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yes tour can write the mnemonics before you enter the room. I spent 45-60seconds outside preparing my mnemonics. but like I said, I'd practiced it so much that it took me less than a minute to arrange my blue sheet. wish you all the best.

adios.
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