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  #1  
Old 01-30-2013
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Star Passed CS... Sharing my two bits!

Hello people,
I have not been around because, frankly, I was depressed after my CS exam.
So this is all that happened:

Exam Date: 27 Dec 2012
Result: Pass with Higher performance in all three criteria. No stars but it's more than I expected with my performance.

Resources:
First Aid for CS 2012
CSEVideos.com
Skype
Live Partner (Lucky to find one for a week, close to exam date but I don't think that's an absolute necessity)

I didn't take any Live courses, so I can't comment on them.

Timeline: Oct to Dec. I was doing observerships simultaneously. Was able to give 1-2 hrs every other day to prep on an average (considering all the disturbances and travel I did). Was able to study more for the last 3 weeks before exam.

Preparation:
I read FA once and barely a second time while practicing with my SPs.
Before anything else, the most important thing is to find a good SP. I found mine on Skype. Thanks Marina99.
I went through CSEVideos but I was unable to finish everything before the subscription ran out. It does give you a very good idea about the encounter and PE. They don't seem to be testing your knowledge of PE or diseases. (I've discussed this later.)

The Exam:
I went to the centre with an upset stomach.
I was really psyched by the kind of chatter AMGs were having.
I came out of the room just after the final time announcement was made in 3-4 cases and just before in 3-4 cases.
I did not finish 3 PNs, in 1 of them I did not finish a whole section of PE and most of history.
I did not even do the focussed systemic PE in 2 cases because I was out of time.
I forgot to counsel about alcohol in a case where it was relevant.
I did not write Blood sugar in all the cases where DM was present or obvious DDx.
I do speak fairly good English.
I do not type well at all.
I wore gloves for all encounters.
I used the Amazing mnemonics my friend Marina99 had prepared.
I had practiced my set of counselling and closure and challenging questions so that they were usually 1-2 sentences only.

I did do the following things right it seems:
I introduced myself to every patient in a respectful way.
I answered their challenge questions even at the cost of not doing a full physical exam.
I maintained eye contact and a confident posture & smile even though I was feeling sick to my stomach.
I explained every thing I was doing in PE. It's just a mock PE so just going through the motions is enough. No, they can't fake breath sounds. Don't go by FA on the PE.
I changed my gloves when I accidentally touched it elsewhere.
I never walked out abruptly. I always said that I needed to take the call even if the proctor was at the door.
I did ask them if they had any concerns at least twice during the encounter esp just before taking my leave.

The Wait
The only things I remembered were the goof ups I made. In fact, after a few days every thing got jumbled up in my head and I couldn't remember one right thing that I did. I was clinically depressed and I don't know how I would have survived another week of this agony.
Be prepared to beat yourself down after the exam because you will, whatever any one else would say.

Free Advice
1. Go through FA as many times as you want but don't forget to do the Minicases at least twice. And DON'T memorize those cases.
2. Time yourself to 12-13min for the encounters and 8 min for the PN when you are practicing. The only thing on exam day that reminds you of the time is the announcements so better to time yourself before.
3. Practice typing on a format that is similar to the exam's not just anywhere. A good resource is Usmle.org's practice page, CSE Videos' practice page or iUsmle.com. (I'm not affiliated to either)
4. Stay as calm as possible on the exam day even if you need pharmacological help.
5. Take care not to fall ill. A lot of people I talked to had been ill on the day of the exam.

This post has been created in a lot of hurry.
I hope it has been a bit helpful. Please post your questions and I will try to answer to the best of my capacity.

All the best for your CS prep and exams.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2013
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Congrats..

Where did u take your exam..which center?
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2013
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Default hahaha

thanks for advertising! hahahaha, I knew you you would pass!!! so happy for you
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomali View Post
Congrats..

Where did u take your exam..which center?
Thanks. I took my exam at Houston.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
thanks for advertising! hahahaha, I knew you you would pass!!! so happy for you
It's time you published yourself.
On a more serious note, I genuinely appreciate having you around for the prep.
In fact, you can start your own Skype Prep course and make some money
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2013
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Default i wish

Quote:
Originally Posted by drssbaz View Post
It's time you published yourself.
On a more serious note, I genuinely appreciate having you around for the prep.
In fact, you can start your own Skype Prep course and make some money
I wish I could say the same and share joy with other guys..., hopefully, my "honeys' and "bless your heart" graded me well enough to pass... Well, im thinking to publish mnemonics, but live skype prep- nawwww.....
It was a pleasure to study....... it really was nice... it should be a movie made about this study
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2013
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would be happy if u guys can share the mnemonics with us in here.....that shall be useful to all those preparing for CS.....

we are ready to pay for it...
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2013
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Thanks for sharing and congrats on passing the CS!!!
One question, what are the "minicases"?
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2013
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Default minicases

Quote:
Originally Posted by val7 View Post
Thanks for sharing and congrats on passing the CS!!!
One question, what are the "minicases"?
page 81 in FA 2012 edition
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2013
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Default Ben ben

Quote:
Originally Posted by drssbaz View Post
Thanks. I took my exam at Houston.
Hey, Phylli didnt disappoint our friend Ben ben either, she passed! Bless her heart
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
page 81 in FA 2012 edition

Thank you so much!
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2013
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Congrats on passing the CS !! That's great news!

Would it be possible for you and/or Marina99 to share those mnemonics ?
I was trying to find some in FA but they are not as good.

Thanks for all the tips and sharing your experience!
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2013
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Send a message via Skype™ to usmlemydream
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hey Congrats !!! I am so happy for you
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2013
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Thanks for sharing your experience! Can you pls. tell me which mnemonics you guys used?
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2013
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Thanks for sharing your experience.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default mnemonics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
Congrats on passing the CS !! That's great news!

Would it be possible for you and/or Marina99 to share those mnemonics ?
I was trying to find some in FA but they are not as good.

Thanks for all the tips and sharing your experience!
I will soon post mnemonics here, so just follow this thread
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepdoc1 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience! Can you pls. tell me which mnemonics you guys used?
Since, I dont have studying material on me, I m at work. so what I remeber for now:
Dysphagia- HARD C FOOD
H- Heartburn (GERD)
A-Appetite/ weight changes(Esoph.cancer) and Anemia questions( like easy bruising, heavy menstrual flow, vegan diet--- for Plummer Vinson syndrome)
R-Regurgitation (Achalasia) and Raynaud phenomenon (CREST syndrome)
D-Dysphagia questions- onset, progression, solid+ liquid etc

C-cough at night (GERD)

F- food cravings ( Plummer Vinson)
O-odor ( halitosis for Zenker diverticulum)
O- overseas travel (Chagas disease)
D-Drugs or infections ( Esophagitis- drug induced or HCV, ECV esophagitis)

As you see, mentioned DDX you have to know by the main symptom,so all you have to do just remember what each letter states for....))))
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
Since, I dont have studying material on me, I m at work. so what I remeber for now:
Dysphagia- HARD C FOOD
H- Heartburn (GERD)
A-Appetite/ weight changes(Esoph.cancer) and Anemia questions( like easy bruising, heavy menstrual flow, vegan diet--- for Plummer Vinson syndrome)
R-Regurgitation (Achalasia) and Raynaud phenomenon (CREST syndrome)
D-Dysphagia questions- onset, progression, solid+ liquid etc

C-cough at night (GERD)

F- food cravings ( Plummer Vinson)
O-odor ( halitosis for Zenker diverticulum)
O- overseas travel (Chagas disease)
D-Drugs or infections ( Esophagitis- drug induced or HCV, ECV esophagitis)

As you see, mentioned DDX you have to know by the main symptom,so all you have to do just remember what each letter states for....))))
thanks! I will keep following this post!
Out of curiosity: how many mnemonics you had in your mind roughly for this exam?
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2013
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Thumbs Up congrats

Congratulations...celebrations...
Yep we will be waitimg for your post.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default 21

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepdoc1 View Post
thanks! I will keep following this post!
Out of curiosity: how many mnemonics you had in your mind roughly for this exam?
either 21 or 23 , i dont remember how many exactly
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default number 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
Since, I dont have studying material on me, I m at work. so what I remeber for now:
Dysphagia- HARD C FOOD
H- Heartburn (GERD)
A-Appetite/ weight changes(Esoph.cancer) and Anemia questions( like easy bruising, heavy menstrual flow, vegan diet--- for Plummer Vinson syndrome)
R-Regurgitation (Achalasia) and Raynaud phenomenon (CREST syndrome)
D-Dysphagia questions- onset, progression, solid+ liquid etc

C-cough at night (GERD)

F- food cravings ( Plummer Vinson)
O-odor ( halitosis for Zenker diverticulum)
O- overseas travel (Chagas disease)
D-Drugs or infections ( Esophagitis- drug induced or HCV, ECV esophagitis)

As you see, mentioned DDX you have to know by the main symptom,so all you have to do just remember what each letter states for....))))
Now, this one I used the most on my CS- dysuria mnemonic

FINISHED PUBS
F- frequency of urination
I-Incontinence
N-Nocturia
I-Incomplete emptying of bladder
S-Stream
HE-Hematuria
D-Dribbling

P-Pain upon urination, Pyuria
U-Urgency
B-Burning
S-Straining
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2013
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Default not right

Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
Now, this one I used the most on my CS- dysuria mnemonic

FINISHED PUBS
F- frequency of urination
I-Incontinence
N-Nocturia
I-Incomplete emptying of bladder
S-Stream
HE-Hematuria
D-Dribbling

P-Pain upon urination, Pyuria
U-Urgency
B-Burning
S-Straining
Also, forgot to mention, this is not mnemonics post, i dont think its right to place here mnemonics, where drssbaz was sharing her CS experience, this is her post, so mnemonics will be posted later separately i dont know when
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2013
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Default concerned needing advice!

Thank you for posting your experience. I want to get advice or opinions about taking CS before all other steps? I have been working in a clinical setting and can devote maybe 4hours daily to study and full day at least 8hrs on wknds. How long do you think I will need to prepare ?is 6-8 weeks feasable? Please any suggestions or advice welcomed. I'm native english speaker IMG grad 09. Plz help!!!
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  #24  
Old 02-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marina99 View Post
Also, forgot to mention, this is not mnemonics post, i dont think its right to place here mnemonics, where drssbaz was sharing her CS experience, this is her post, so mnemonics will be posted later separately i dont know when
Marina99 You can post your mnemonics here if you want. I have no qualms about it As long as it is nothing offensive, you can post anything here.
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  #25  
Old 02-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiCe View Post
Thank you for posting your experience. I want to get advice or opinions about taking CS before all other steps? I have been working in a clinical setting and can devote maybe 4hours daily to study and full day at least 8hrs on wknds. How long do you think I will need to prepare ?is 6-8 weeks feasable? Please any suggestions or advice welcomed. I'm native english speaker IMG grad 09. Plz help!!!
I cannot comment on giving CS before the other steps because I didn't go that way. However, everyone has their own time frame and schedule so do what you think is right on that front. My guess would be that if you have a reasonable clinical knowledge the order of giving the steps should not matter.

As far as your prep schedule is concerned, 6-8 weeks is a good amount of time if you can devote the time to focused prep for CS only.

All the very best to you whatever you decide.
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2013
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Default any advice

hi there i recently failed CS , i passed Step 1 and step 2 CK with very good score but failed CS in CIS component and my performance graph is very good in SEP and ICE. now i have no idea that how to improve on CIS, i couldn't find any1 who failed in CIS. if u can guide me i will be thankful
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  #27  
Old 02-05-2013
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban43 View Post
I have began my cs and step-1 planning both simultaneously concentrating more on step-1 but lastly finished providing CS previously than step-1. I provided my CS examination, and moving with greater performance.
I'm sorry I don't understand.
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  #28  
Old 02-06-2013
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Question writing ddx and physical findings

Hi drssbaz
Would you please tell ,how you wrote the history findings and physicalfindings below each diagnosis?
Did you write both + and _ findings?
Would you mind writing an example for it here.If it is ok.:sorry:

Thanks a lot.
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakuna matata View Post
Hi drssbaz
Would you please tell ,how you wrote the history findings and physicalfindings below each diagnosis?
Did you write both + and _ findings?
Would you mind writing an example for it here.If it is ok.:sorry:

Thanks a lot.
Hi,
I never had time to write anything extra so I didn't write any negative findings.
I think you can and should write if you can. I'm poor at typing.

This was what a typical DDx looked like for me:

1. Diabetes Mellitus:
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, Excessive thirst, Recent Weight loss, Family Hx
PE: None

2. Diabetes Insipidus
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, excessive thirst
PE: None

3. Primary Polydipsia
Hx: Excessive thirst, Drinks 20 glasses of water a day, frequency, nocturia
PE: None

I hope that helps.
Good luck for your exam.
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  #30  
Old 02-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drssbaz View Post
Hi,
I never had time to write anything extra so I didn't write any negative findings.
I think you can and should write if you can. I'm poor at typing.

This was what a typical DDx looked like for me:

1. Diabetes Mellitus:
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, Excessive thirst, Recent Weight loss, Family Hx
PE: None

2. Diabetes Insipidus
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, excessive thirst
PE: None

3. Primary Polydipsia
Hx: Excessive thirst, Drinks 20 glasses of water a day, frequency, nocturia
PE: None

I hope that helps.
Good luck for your exam.
I think this is very helpful contribution.
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  #31  
Old 02-08-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr-mk View Post
hi there i recently failed CS , i passed Step 1 and step 2 CK with very good score but failed CS in CIS component and my performance graph is very good in SEP and ICE. now i have no idea that how to improve on CIS, i couldn't find any1 who failed in CIS. if u can guide me i will be thankful
I am so sorry that I missed out your post and that you couldn't make it on the CS.

CIS is a very subjective part of the exam. Possibly one or more of the standardized patients did not rate you well on some of these components.
This is the list of the subcomponents of CIS:
http://www.usmle.org/pdfs/step-2-cs/...avior_List.pdf

I was hoping you can share if you had a particularly adverse encounter with any of the Standardized patients or whether you think you were not able to satisfy any of the sub components. If we know what went through, maybe one of us can help you out.

You have good scores on Step 1 and CK so you should definitely be able to get over this setback.
Wish you the very best in your next attempt.
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  #32  
Old 02-12-2013
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Default Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by drssbaz View Post
Hi,
I never had time to write anything extra so I didn't write any negative findings.
I think you can and should write if you can. I'm poor at typing.

This was what a typical DDx looked like for me:

1. Diabetes Mellitus:
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, Excessive thirst, Recent Weight loss, Family Hx
PE: None

2. Diabetes Insipidus
Hx: Frequency, Nocturia, excessive thirst
PE: None

3. Primary Polydipsia
Hx: Excessive thirst, Drinks 20 glasses of water a day, frequency, nocturia
PE: None

I hope that helps.
Good luck for your exam.
Thank you doctor for the reply and for the wishes.Good luck.
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  #33  
Old 02-16-2013
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Thumbs Up PE on Skype

I got a couple of PMs asking how we practiced PE on Skype practice.
So I decided to post this here for every body else.

We discussed the case history and the counselling initially. This we did till we were comfortable finishing it in about 9-10 min.

Then we used to go through the physical exam verbally.
e.g.:
"Ms XYZ, I will need to do a PE now. I would like to begin with having a look at your belly. May I lift your gown? Thank you...." and so on like the CSE videos.
We used to give a reasonable pause to account for the time that it might take to actually do the motion like 15-20 sec.
That's how we practiced the PE on Skype.

Hope that helps. You can ask me any other questions here. I'll try to answer to the best of my understanding.

Wish you luck in your endeavors.
__________________
"The whole universe is in a continuous flux... What it will be like tomorrow neither I nor anyone else can say. Only tomorrow will bring the revelation".-Osho
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