There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The manner in which you prepared for your shelf examinations is honestly the way you should prepare for USMLE 2. Give yourself some credit. I say all of this to reassure you: you are going to be great. I asked quite a few people the year above me for their advice for Step 2. There are questions that are you almost guaranteed to look at…skip…come back to…look at…shed tears…say a prayer…make an educated guess.
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There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The manner in which you prepared for your shelf examinations is honestly the way you should prepare for USMLE 2. Give yourself some credit. I say all of this to reassure you: you are going to be great. I asked quite a few people the year above me for their advice for Step 2.
There are questions that are you almost guaranteed to look at…skip…come back to…look at…shed tears…say a prayer…make an educated guess. Once you tackle this exam, you can focus on everything else e.
You studied throughout the year in preparation for shelf examinations. In regard to content, this examination is challenging. I will not disagree but I will state that the examination is expensive. You certainly do not want to take this examination again. Just be as thorough as you can be within the time frame. Remember, you have been practicing for this examination every single day of your clerkship year.
Try to stay calm! I hope this post was helpful to some degree. If you have more questions, feel free to comment below to get in touch over email or instagram! Rooting for you guys! Like Like. Like Liked by 1 person. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Approach : Think carefully about your clerkship year.
Identify weaknesses : Which core clerkship was the most challenging? What was your last clerkship? I started with internal medicine. Given the emphasis of internal medicine on USMLE 2 CK I knew that I needed to spend the majority of my time reviewing internal medicine due to the importance and also my distance from the rotation. Evaluate resources : What resources did you utilize during your clerkships? The short-list of resources were included in my study schedule.
I made the decision to not include new resources during my dedicated period of study. I definitely did not want to repeat that issue. Timing : There are quite a few factors to consider before you select your test date.
A strong USMLE 2 CK score can demonstrate to programs that they have no reason to be concerned about your academic performance assuming that rotations went well or your future test-taking boards-passing capabilities. Shoot for a test date with score release prior to ERAS submission middle of September so that residency programs can see your score prior to interview invites. Failing, of course, is a different story. Definitely ask individuals at your school the year above you who matched in your specialty of interest , to see how they approached timing of USMLE 2 CK.
Schedule : They key to success is a schedule. Time : I think most individuals do well if they have four weeks of dedicated time to study. You may need less time if you ended your clerkship year on internal medicine or family medicine.
Clearly a time-consuming rotation, but the extra time allowed me to adequately prepare for the examination. Build a schedule assuming that you can put in about 6 hours per day.
Like I mentioned above, I did not introduce new resources. I started with cardiology because that is the material that leads to major eye-rolling. It took me 2. This allowed me to make Anki cards as I went through the questions. I am not the type who benefits a ton from questions. If you want to take a look at my Anki deck, feel free to do so here. I just could not bring myself to do them. Ask your friends how they liked them! I did not make an effort to review the entire book during my dedicated study period.
I did make sure to review the cardiology section because I felt as though I needed additional practice. There were a few chapters I wanted to review e. I thought this was worthwhile only to identify trends. I did identify some similar questions on my actual examination but there is definitely no need to feel like you have to go through the NBMEs if you never found them particularly useful. Books : Step Up to Medicine : This book is the go-to for internal medicine.
There was absolutely no way that I was going to go through every single chapter of this textbook. I made sure to read the three chapters that I thought were high-yield or were personal weak points: cardiology, pulmonary, and dermatology. Crush Step 2 : A lot of people are a huge fan of Master the Boards. I think in content it is similar to Crush Step 2. However, Master the Boards is more paragraph form whereas Crush Step 2 is bullet-form and honestly worked better for my attention span.
This is almost like the Robbins versus Golijan situation. This is a book I read cover-to-cover multiple times. Flashcards : My attention span is shot. The flashcard sets I used throughout clerkship year were used to break up my study day.
These were really easy to breeze through if I had downtime at work. Approach : Think about previous standardized patient encounters. If you have had the opportunity to have standardized patient encounters as part of your medical school curriculum, you have received feedback.
What are some concerns that have been raised? Do you have an issue with time management? Do your notes require more work? Schedule : There are few testing sites in the country and so test dates fill up quickly. Start to look for a date months prior to when you intend to take the examination. I have no evidence for this but I did that anyway.
If you can knock out CS early in the year — go for it. If you fail CS between rank list submission and match day, your situation becomes…dire. To start: read the introduction so you have a clear understanding of how the examination works. There is also a list of hotels that offer discounted rates for individuals in town for the examination. Take a look at the cases and focus on: chief complaint, physical examination maneuvers, and differential. Have a good working differential at least 5 diagnoses for common complaints e.
This is by no means necessary. I just appreciated how each case was explained and that there was a video component.
Again, by no means necessary. Practice physical examination maneuvers. Practice your neurological examination so that you can knock it out in minutes at most. It gives you a feel for the character and line limits. Tips : Here are some quick tips to make things less stressful.
Routine : Become a creature of habit. Interviewing : Be thorough in every single case. Ask a complete review of systems this should take minutes at most; start with: fever, chills, weight changes and then go top to bottom.
Make sure to obtain a gynecological history for all women especially if they have a complaint of abdominal pain. Ask about psychiatric history if you think it is necessary also perform a mini mental examination if that is the case.
Physical Examination : There is no way you can do a head-to-toe physical examination. Touch on every organ system that is on your differential. For the top two organ systems, do a complete examination. Timing : I aimed for 9 minutes of interviewing and 6 minutes of physical examination. Maybe I talk faster than I thought…but I finished each room with minutes to spare this gave me extra time to write my note.
About the USMLE Step 2 CS
Every medical professional seeking to obtain a residency position in the United States must demonstrate their ability to provide safe and effective patient care under supervision similar to the work of an intern during the first year of residency. Of the 12 standardized patient encounters, only 10 predetermined stations count toward the final grade. A failing score in any of the components will result in Step 2 CS failure! No numerical score or graphic representation of your performance will be shared with residency programs. While USMLE Step 2 CS traditionally has very high pass rates for US medical students, the exam recently underwent a change in performance standards that affects examinees taking the exam after September 10, Under the new standards, the overall pass rate has dropped by approx.