sharvaree19 CS experience and advice
Got my CS result today!! PAssed!!! Woo-hoo!! :)
OK so I wanted to share my experience of the exam ( NOT the cases ;) ), coz I know how valuable this stuff can be. I used tips that other people posted in usmle-forums.com. I think some of u may find this useful too.
Firstly, I had only 30 days to study for CS after CK. I really think if one takes CS close to CK, u need to only concentrate on the 'communication' part of the exam. But in any case, please use your time to read and reread First Aid. (this was a mistake I made, I used the Kaplan book throughout, and first aid only in the last 4 days.)
Use FA as much as u can. I recommend going thru the cases 3 times, and then u will get the hang of it very well.
I also used UW. but I only used the videos, they are good but do not depend on them to teach u everything u need to know for CS.
I did not have a study partner or anyone to practice with. Many people don't. Don't worry about it. After u r done reading the FA cases once, simulate the encounter with urself, saying both ur's and the pt's lines (strongly advice u to do this alone, coz ur relatives/friends may think ur losing it! :))). Time these encounters, and physically do the actions like knocking on the door, examining the pt etc. this helps a lot.
About the exam itself-
You DO NOT have to be perfect to get through CS. I messed up a few times. For my first case, I came out of the room in only 7 minutes! I could not finish the closing in about 3-4 cases. I mistakenly poked a patient with the otoscope...( she moved!) the trick is never to let one bad case affect the rest of ur performance. forget it and move on.
About time for case and pt note-
Usually u can finish the case in 15 mins easily. it is better to close with a couple of lines and ask if the pt has any questions, rather than give a prolonged lecture and miss the pt question. if u have spare time, u can continue ur advice after the pts questions. usually they just ask one question.
the pt note is to be written in 10 mins. I found it very difficult to finish in 10 mins. I would advice that u practice writing the pt note as much as u practice the encounters. and pls choose typing or writing beforehand, and practice that form only. also, in the exam, pls type the DDs and diagnostic tests first, and then write notes , so even if u run out of time, at least they know u know what ur talking about.
About interpersonal skills-
Walk in like u are a calm competent doctor, speak in a soft but steady voice, smile, shake the patients' hand, and never lose eye contact ( but do not stare at the patient!).
About the test centre-
The people who conduct the exam are very pleasant and professional. they will put u at ease. the lunch is good too! :) ( wish I had eaten some of it. was too nervous)
Anyway guys, hope this helps. please practice hard, be calm and you can get though this too.
Oh, and enjoy urself while u study and during the exam too! :)
We made it sticky and it will later move to the recommended threads
Congrats on passing and wish you all the best.
Couple of questions:
Why did you take the CK before the CS?
Which Kaplan book you mean?
Im glad u found it useful, and thanks for ur wishes!
1- I thought u cannot take CS before u take CK. anyway , I think it makes a lot more sense to study the theory of the clinical subjects, and then take the CS.
2- the kaplan book called Kaplan's USMLE Clinical Skills but don't spend too much time on it! use FA!!
I am planning to start my USMLE journey with CS.
I am planning to take the CS during(or immediately after) my two months elective in U.S.
I think I'll study for CS & practise on real patients with American accent.
Do you encourage me to do it ?
P.S:I did not apply for CK nor step 1
Im sure u will benefit greatly from ur elective. the experience is very valuable. so I guess ur interpersonal skills, English proficiency , etc will be taken care of with that.
But since u have not taken even step 1 , or CK, u will have to really study hard for the medicine part of it! get the Kaplan CK books, and do read them too, coz the CS books will tell u which questions to ask, but they will not tell u why u need to ask those questions. its better to understand why one is following a train of thought to arrive at the DDs. also then u will not be caught off-guard wen a pt asks u a question about the condition.
best of luck!
CS in one months
Thanks for effective information.
Did you mean that you have one month to study for Step 2 CS ? Normally how many months need to study for CS ?
Thank you for this great post,
i like the advice of writing the DDs and Tests before the history and the physical exam in the patient note. This is a genius advice and i will do that in my exam.
Hi how r u today
i have some questions if u can help me about cs taking history
well during taking history they mention i must keep eye contact with the patient so how i can write my notes about what he is saying or disease he have or medication or symptoms duration ? if u can advise me
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Hello, do u think fully knowing the USMLE World case studies is sufficient for the cs?
I didn't do the closing for 2 cases on the step 2 CS exam... I'm so scared I failed!
I really need advice on whether to get the ball rolling on asking my school for another scheduling permit for Step2 CS because I think I failed!
1) I didn't do the closing for 2 cases! I ran out of time in stroke cases doing carotid and neuro exams.. I know I couldn't do everything, but my nerves got the best of me!
2) I had a 17 year old come in for asthma and I didn't ask him about family, school, grades, body image, etc. He told me he drank a beer once in a while, but I forgot to counsel him in the closing! I did ask about sex, tobacco and illicit drugs, though. I'm terrified!
3) I did not address confidentiality in any of my cases. I feel like I should have especially addressed confidentiality for the adolescent case at least.
4) I feel like I didn't do any other fatal errors in the rest of the cases.
I know the new 2013 passing standards are higher, and I feel like I completely failed. Should I get the ball rolling on getting another scheduling permit and registering again?
Thank you in advance for your responses. It would mean the world to me right now.
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