Do the SPs know the DDx? - USMLE Forums
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Old 06-18-2013
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Question Do the SPs know the DDx?

I'm sure during the real exam I may blank on the DDx and hopefully it will come to me while I'm typing the notes. So if we were to tell the pt the wrong dx and work up, will we lose marks for it?
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Old 06-18-2013
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The cases in the CS exam are usually not a difficult diagnostic dilemma and am sure you'll come up with at least one or two correct diagnoses of each case during the encounter itself and before going to the note writing.

In the rare event, when you are really blank on any diagnosis, try not to commit yourself to a specific diagnosis, keep your wording general. For example, Mr. Smith; we need to do further testing to try to find out why you are having chest pain.

If the SP insist on asking you what's the diagnosis, an you don't know it for sure. Then you can safely say Mr. Smith, at this point, I don't know what's the exact diagnosis. I am thinking of Migraine, or Cluster Headache, or Tension Headache. I will do further testing to try find the exact diagnosis and I will come back and tell you.

Yes. The SPs do know the DDx, but there is not much of points allocated for pinpointing the correct diagnosis. So even if you give them wrong or No diagnosis, you won't fail the case, if you get the other components right.

Remember that the CS exam is not about testing your diagnostic and management skills (that's done in the CK exam). The CS exam is all about your communication skills, language, and professionalism.

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The above post was thanked by:
belindalimm (06-18-2013), DAVE (04-19-2014), ifss (06-18-2013), Novobiocin (06-18-2013), tuflife (06-18-2013), venky2600 (06-18-2013)


CS-Communication, CS-DDx

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