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  #1  
Old 11-22-2013
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Smile Step 2 CS Guide

Hey guys i gave Step 2 CS last year when the Exam pattern changed and wrote a guide for my university fellows. I thought i should share it here for everybody since people at this forum have been very kind and helpful to me. It holds specially true for IMGs who come from a different working environment. I have alot of mnemonics i made for different cases. I hope it helps you guys in some way

STEP 2 CS EXAM

– A short Guide

Overview:


Time span -
Unless you are in a rush of getting it done prior to an upcoming match don’t compromise on the time span . Do spare at least 3,4 weeks of time for the preparation of this exam . To say that CS is just a practical exam and doesn’t need any kind of studying is absurdity at the least. For the real exam you have to be prepared in every aspect both theoretically and practically so don’t compromise on the preparation.

Clinical rotations -
For those people on clinical rotations they should utilize their rotations as much as they can to get them prepared for the exam , not just for the studying part but for the hands on experience and the interaction with the patients . Don’t slack off while on rotations , instead in addition to the inpatient patients care , try to tag along with the residents while they see their outpatient appointments too. It would build a lot of confidence in you regarding the interaction with patients and everything else would be a breeze in the prep phase.
For those not having clinical rotations or having rotations in specialties like surgery, pediatrics etc would have to put a little extra effort during the preparation of CS.

Study material -
First Aid is the best book for this exam , u should also buy usmle world and go through it just once (once u are thoroughly done with first aid) , and uworld book at that time won’t take more than 5,6 hours . I recommend that to broaden your views regarding each presenting complaint and all the possible medical conditions related to it. Also do download NEERAJ NOTES, They are really helpful in getting hang of the basic mnemonics for all the cases.

New Pattern -
The major difference between the old/new patterns is that DATA GATHERING portion of the ICE sub-component is now graded through your patient note instead of the checklist given to the patient. What that means for you is that even if you asked a relevant question to the patient but forgot to mention that in patient note properly than u r going to lose points for that thing, so in short A GOOD PATIENT NOTE IS VITAL for ur passing , so it should be practiced a lot n shouldn’t be neglected. Secondly now instead of just writing different dds u have to quote 2,3 dds with relevant history/examination points which point to that d/d, and what that means for you is that you should be thoroughly prepared theoretically so that you know all the history/examination points of all the d/ds of a particular presenting complaint , with which the patient presented .

For cs your preparation should be in a way that whenever u see a presenting complaint all the probable d/ds should flash in ur mind and also the relevant history points regarding all of them and this is where creating mnemonics would help u a lot in the exam. The mnemonics given in NEERAJ NOTES are the baseline mnemonics that u would use in all the cases , but you should also create mnemonics for each individual case so that whenever u see a presenting complaint that mnemonic u created comes in ur mind and without much thinking u write it on the paper before entering the room and u would be knowing all the extra questions you would need to ask other than the ones in those notes.

Practice -
Don’t start practicing a case unless uve gone through it from the book thoroughly and have memorized all the important things , practicing with another person (preferably one who is also preparing for cs) can be very very helpful in building confidence regarding cs protocol and testing yourself and is a vital part of the exam preparation. While practicing do make sure u always time urself and try to decrease the time for practicing purposes e.g try to get done with history and exam in 13 mins and patient note in 8-9 mins , so that u are well prepared to perform fast in the real exam. And also don’t just stick with the practice cases given in first aid book , tell ur friend to be any other possible disease with same presenting complaint (all of which are given in the minicases in firstaid ) , this wont limit ur mind to that one possible dd given in the practice case and would broaden ur mind regarding any kind of possibility in exam which is really important .

SUMMARY


1) Read the CS related info on the USMLE website before starting with anything to get a clear idea about the exam , there is a pdf file related to this exam on the website , do go through it once http://www.usmle.org/step-2-cs/

2) Buy First Aid and get an idea of different types of cases that could be tested in the exam , and just go through whole book superficially in a day, just to get an idea of what you are going to study

3) Download the Neeraj notes and study its first 10 pages and memorize them all, and keep practicing the mnemonics until u are perfect with them (Do incorporate the REVIEW OF SYSTEM mnemonics I described in this guide with those mnemonics )

4) Start with individual Practice Cases given in the First Aid.
Once you read a practice case do TWO things ,
First try to memorize the reasons of different diagnosis given at the last of the case and also mark all the questions other than OPDSFC LIQRAAA review of system and PAM FOSS TIA SHO (the mnemonics u are going to prepare from notes and here) , the rest of the questions would be very few .
Secondly open the minicases part of First aid and read all the possible other medical problems with the similar presenting complaint and try to memorize the different history points regarding each individual problem. Once you are done with both these things you are good to go.

5) Focused Questions Mnemonics regarding some cases are given here , if u can memorize them they would help you a lot , you can also make your own focused questions mnemonics.
6)After you are this Good with a particular presenting complaint , go forward and practice with a partner , DON’T start practicing a particular case UNTIL you are this much prepared theoretically about that particular case. Time Yourself Throughout the practice and also write the patient notes.

7) Patient Note : Study the patient notes in First aid and try to copy them , they are perfect regarding the exam , only difference being that you now also have to write history points as well as examination points separately so do practice that on your own , also study first aid about writing the acronyms in the physical exam part
The order of writing different things in patient notes should be
a) D/ds with history/physical exam points
b) Lab tests
c) History
d) examination
This is important because even if you get a little over time your d/ds won’t be compromised instead the physical exam portion would be , which u can always shrink if there is less time .

8) Physical Exam : You should practice and practice to get perfect in this part. Watch few videos related to this exam and also read through first aid and neeraj notes , the most time consuming of all is the CNS examination so try to shorten it to roughly 3 minutes and practice ,practice and practice.

9) USMLE WORLD: Once you are done with all the cases in First Aid , and have practiced all of them , open your UWORLD book and go through it in a day . You would find some cases which are either not mentioned in first aid or are a little different in uworld , broaden your mind with that knowledge , even practice a few and that’s it.

All of the above points are discussed in more detail in the attached file
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2015's match INSHALLAH

Last edited by truepassion20; 11-27-2013 at 05:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2013
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Thumbs Up Hey!

Thank you so much for sharing this!!
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2013
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It is very helpful, Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2013
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The CS guide
Attached Files
File Type: pdf A Short Cs guide.pdf (299.6 KB)
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2015's match INSHALLAH
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2013
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Default Neeraj notes still useful?

Thank you so much for posting your CS guide! i found it very informative. I was just wondering though, did you find the Neeraj notes helpful even though they haven't been updated since 2008?
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. FB View Post
Thank you so much for posting your CS guide! i found it very informative. I was just wondering though, did you find the Neeraj notes helpful even though they haven't been updated since 2008?
You are welcome. They are really helpful. They give a basic format for organising material so doesn't matters even if they are old. i used them last year
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2014
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thank u veru much..
u did mention the uworld book ? where could i find it?
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2014
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hello! good to read your tips. they helped a lot.
I have few queries about which i need your help as you are done with the exam.
1. can we use abbreviations other than those mentioned on usmle website? many people do that. Even the simple ones like Mo for month(not mentioned in usmle website).
2. are we allowed copy/paste option in the exam? My center is Chicago
Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neisseria View Post
hello! good to read your tips. they helped a lot.
I have few queries about which i need your help as you are done with the exam.
1. can we use abbreviations other than those mentioned on usmle website? many people do that. Even the simple ones like Mo for month(not mentioned in usmle website).
2. are we allowed copy/paste option in the exam? My center is Chicago
Thanks!
Yes copy paste is allowed i think , and i would encourage to only use the accepted abbreviations. why take risk?
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truepassion20 View Post
Yes copy paste is allowed i think , and i would encourage to only use the accepted abbreviations. why take risk?
Thank you truepassion20 for your valuable input. This relaxes me
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2014
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How to learn the system wise physical exam/relevant physical exam for a case...plzz reply
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2014
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Default Guide

I am grateful for this post. Please, i will like to know if there is any standard pattern to follow in each system examination during the exam.

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2014
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Thanks for sharing.
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2016
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Thanks for sharing !!
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2017
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thank you very helpful
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