Hello, I am a consultant for CCSCases.com. We have received a lot of criticism from this individual above on student doctor. We have not responded as of yet, but feel that due to the repetitive posting, we should respond.
Lets take for instance the criticism that you will not be marked down for doing a full physical exam during an emergency. This is not true. The grading accounts for time to intervention just like the real test. If you do a full physical exam and use 15 minutes, you will definitely be marked off for time delay to intervention. You will receive credit for the portions of the physical exam that were completed, but what the previous poster is missing is that things are weighted differently. The main point of the case regarding diagnosis and treatment will be weighted the most and small things done correctly will be weighted less. In the case of the emergency, you will definitely not do well if you delay prior to intervention regardless of what is done (including a full physical exam). It appears that some do not understand this and feel that all orders have equal weight which is not accurate.
Also regarding screening during the 2 minute warning. The USMLE states that “Addressing health maintenance issues” is part of grading on the USMLE Step 3. Although we include this which includes counseling, good bed-side manner, appropriate vaccinations, cancer screenings which are all recommended and should be done in real life, this is a minor portion of your grade on the test. People criticize us that we overemphasize this, but really it’s not a major part of your grade. You can easily pass with a high score if you choose to ignore this and correctly manage the patient in the case. As stated above, the major portion of the grade is getting the diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
It also states that the scoring protocol does not change from case to case. This is not accurate. Each case has a different scoring protocol depending on the situation. Yes, there are consistently low portions of your grade dedicated to the aforementioned health maintenance issues.
Just a food for thought: if you were to go to a CCS Workshop and do a case in front of an expert, and they were to critique you, wouldn’t this be grading? Telling you things that you are doing well and things that you are not doing well. They wouldn’t give you an exact score but they would give you a ballpark of how you’re doing. Isn’t this what is done here?
We also have issues with his allegation that “I know people who have failed because of CCSCases.” We have many many students who have failed previously and then passed and shown us their scores of vast improvement before using ccscases.com and after using ccscases.com.
Having said all of this, there will be the purist who thinks grading is wrong no matter how much effort goes into it. For these people, we have an option to turn the grading off. You will not receive a score.