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Old 06-20-2014
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Question CS in brief!!

Hi everyone, I recently passed my CS exam. Believe me it was such a relief. I underestimated the exam but luckily I passed it at the first attempt. Below here I am posting what I read on one of the forums and I thought I should post it here as well. Thanks to the writer to break it down to pieces.
P.s : I wish I had read this before my exam.

Hope it helps. Goodluck

"Hi all,

Thought I would give my 2 cents on how to pass this exam on the first try. Took it chicago, in February and passed first time. Study time 3 weeks first aid and live sp only.

1)First and foremost FA is be all and need all. All this goldusmle, kaplan crap is great if you have never spoken or interacted with an American patient, in which case Step 2 CS should be the least of your problems and you should probably learn about the country you plan on living in (ie. cant practice in India, middle east if you dont speak the language or know how to interact with the locals, why should it be any different here.) Don't memorize questions but understand the flow, as the cases are not gonna be verbatim from first aid, but sometimes a mixture. Learn the pattern and stick with it. You will never be able to write a note like in the back of first aid so the key is to make sure you simply write the headers in your note eg. HPI, PMH, surghx, Fhx etc to cover the majority of the points. Use your mnemonics and spend a minute writing them down outside the door. Learn to type, 25 wpm is sufficient, quality not quantity is the key. If your hunting and pecking you should look at a calendar and realize its 2013 and buy a computer. If you are typing like some of you post messages, and I can tell your accent from the way you type, memorize the HPI in first aid and stick with the format (eg. 36 yo F c/o abdominal pain for 3 days...).

2)Practice the basic physical exam. Dont be anal about whether you are doing it right or not. I auscultated only 2 places on the heart every time on every patient. If your doing JVP, PMI, hapatojugular reflex your going to fail. The basic tests like murphy's, organomegaly and psoas rosvig, bruits (that **** about listening with the bell is crap, SP's are actors not physicians) are fine if your certain of the diagnosis.
I stress neuro exam because I had **** load of nuero cases (4 to be exact). Learn the neuro exam, it is the most difficult and lengthiest. KNOW IT period.

3)Use a live SP, skype is great once you have mastered it on a real person, but for physical exam find a guinea pig and relearn how to gown/drape a patient, how to position yourself and do basic auscultation and nuero exam. TIME yourself. 13 min tops at home, guaranteed you will take longer on the actual exam. Wash hands, wear gloves, this is all trivial crap, most people who are asking about something so insignificant need to reorganize their priorities.

4) Conclusion: If you fail to do this on multiple cases your screwed. Summarize, advise, 30 second for dx and tests, answer questions and say thank you. Done. DONT forget, this is your CIS, you can be an ass the entire encounter but if you can empathize with the SP during this last few min you are golden. Leave at least 2 min for this last bit. Sometime you will not have to counsel so you get to save time. Shoot the **** with the patient whenever you can. I talked about the weather, kids, football playoffs etc. while washing hands.


Your an idiot if you asking which test center is better. This is a standardized exam, morning evening, houston, philli, LA, the batcave, its all the same. Its always going to be a mixture of cases. I had heavy neuro and no phone convos. My friend had heavy musk skeletal and psych. People should stop posting stupid questions and freaking the rest of the community out. If you failed its because it was YOU not the center. If you cant understand the patient then the patient cant understand you (the patients been living in the states longer then you have).

Wear deodorant and have a breath mint at your desk, nothing worse then smelling like a mixture body odor and wherever the hell your from. Extra points for CIS Carry a tissue for you sweaty forehead folks.

Be kind to the patient, Smile, shake, say sorry, be human, look them in the eye, dont fart or violate the patient. Pretend the patient is your mother, you dont want to hurt your mother or see her naked, let that instinct guide you.

When the proctor says time is up. Stop typing. I had 2 tools in my group who kept typing and were reported for suspicious behavior. I doubt the last sentence made any diff. in there note. Don't put yourself in that position. Its a long enough wait to get the results back and they will factor that into your score as per step 2 CS proctor.

Its a long ass day, make sure you dont look like you have been on cocaine the last week. Get some sleep the night before. You will show it if you are tired, optimize yourself for success.

Bring some kind of liquid courage, ie, 5 hr energy, coffee energy drinks, utilize the bathroom during breaks, try and be a normal person and talk with your fellow exam takers, learned a bunch about different cultures etc, it will relax you.

Best of luck to all, You need to pass this on your first time, filters at most programs will weed you out. The test is harder now, and both CIS and ICE components are equally important. If you fail SEP you should not be practicing in the US anyway. Its a bull exam that will take 10 years off your lifespan and cause you 2 months of peptic ulcer disease waiting for the results. But when you pass it.........nothing changes, just that you prove you can officially fake giving a ****

wish you all only the greatest successes in your endeavors."
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The above post was thanked by:
datar (06-21-2014), tareq76 (06-26-2014)

Old 06-21-2014
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cool write-up
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