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I seriously pity those of you who have to take the Step II CS (standardized patients)

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by yaah, May 2, 2004.

  1. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I am sorry to all of you. Everything I read about this makes me angrier and angrier, and I am graduating this year and don't have to even take it. I find it a complete waste of time, money, and resources. At my school, we do a bunch of standardized patient exams and interviews as part of the third year and second year curriculum. Any school that doesn't teach you how to do physical exams probably should not be a medical school. I simply cannot understand why the USMLE or NBME or AMA or whoever is responsible for this crap can't trust the med schools to administer some kind of similar test (mine already does).

    For those who don't know, Step II CS is a new test that will be required of all med students before graduation. The regular Step II is a day long test, similar to Step I except in question content, and will still be required, taken at any one of a number of test centers, requiring a fee, etc. The CS is an addition to this, requiring students to perform interviews and physical exams on standardized patients. Similar to what foreign grads have had to go through for years. I guess I understand this reason for the test because the US wants to make sure foreign grads can perform as physicians. But making US grads do this? Obscene. More info at: http://www.usmle.org/news/cse.htm

    Some of the more objectionable parts of the exam:
    1) It costs $975. I am surprised they didn't just make it $999. I mean, having it cost only 3 figures, what a bargain!
    2) It will only be given in a few sites around the country, unlike the written which you can take at many places, usually very close to where you go to school. Philly, Atlanta, LA, Houston, Chicago. That's right, sportsfans, every med student from DC north to Boston will have to go to Philly. And of course, I assume that there will be limited space and the test centers will be woefully unprepared for the numbers of students they have to accomodate (this is a given). They will probably try to make a pathetic attempt to pacify students by offering a $5 hotel room discount or something.
    3) No travel discounts or vouchers will be provided by the administrators. Maybe med schools will help out their own students, but doubtful.
    4) It is an all day (well, 7-8 hours anyway) test.
    5) They provide lunch, another obvious sign that they know they are doing a bad thing. Probably will be wrap sandwiches or awful sheet-pizza.
    6) You will probably fail this test, after paying $1000, another $1000 to travel there, as well as going through the hassle, if you don't wash your hands or introduce yourself properly. Bite me.

    This is a crock. As I said, if the NBME or AAMC or whoever doesn't trust US med schools to teach their students to perform a proper H & P, they need to work on some other stuff not devising another moneymaking test. Good luck getting through med school if you can't do a proper H&P. I have no doubt lots of people will fail this test for silly and unfair reasons. I will get out my rosary and my St Jude medal for you all. If I had to take this test, I would seriously consider leading a bunch of med students in a boycott of this test, or at least a massive protest campaign.
     
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  3. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    That sucks, but better them than me :D

    Next they will be introducing recertification. You will have to take your USMLEs every 10 years to keep your license. Most subspecialty boards do this already, hopefully the UMSLEs won't go that route. :scared:
     
  4. PA_to_MD

    PA_to_MD Junior Member
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    I am amazed that we didn't think of this before. I will definitely bring this up with the board.
     
  5. Gauss

    Gauss Damnit Jim!
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    The reason for all this is litigious pressure. STudies show Malpractice suits stem from interpersonal communication problems. NBME thinks this test can somehow address this issue.
    Additionally there are major studies, primarily done in Canada (thanks eh), that show excellent reliability and validity in predicting 1st year residency performance. They also examined "physicianly" qualities and their N was in the thousands.
    Personally I find this utter BS since we would not need any of this if attendings would spend more time with students. While this may not be feasible it needs to be addressed by med schools instead of this cheap cop out of making another Board exam. Because pretty soon we will all learn cases and bedside manner from actors instead of doctors.
    This whole damn country wants standardized schools, standardized tests, now standardized patients, and coming soon standardized students. It's pathetic.
    Do I really need someone with histrionic PD telling me to be less neutral with my tone?
     
  6. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    Fine with me, grandfather clauses are nice aren't they? :cool:
     
  7. Harrie

    Harrie Senior Member
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    My question is this....
    If the public believes that America's doctors are so deficient in their communication skills, why are we only testing medical students? With this logic, it will take 20 years or so to see the real benefits of this test. Why not impose this $1000 hassle on all current doctors in addition to the students? I bet if that were proposed the test would come to a screeching halt!
     
  8. HiddenTruth

    HiddenTruth Senior Member
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    ONLY IF YOUR SIGNATURE FROM THE PREVIOUS POST WAS AS VALID AS ME SEEING A PIG FLY :laugh:
     
  9. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    Umm grandfather clause :cool: .
     
  10. PA_to_MD

    PA_to_MD Junior Member
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    No, but this is my real signature.
     
  11. cooldreams

    cooldreams American Mensa Member :)
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    dood... "bush"... stay outta medicine, you already screwed up politics heheh :laugh:
     
  12. PA_to_MD

    PA_to_MD Junior Member
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    Thru my good use of strategery, I plan on handing back sovereignty to medicine...Don't mess with Texas.
     
  13. madtowngirl

    madtowngirl Senior Member
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    My school is already getting us ready for this test, and we have such a cookie-cutter approach to H and P. It's quite laughable, but I guess it will help on that crazy overpriced exam.
     
  14. debvz

    debvz Wandering Spleen
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    Would've been nice for the opposition to have made more noise last year when all of this stuff was being voted on. My school had an active letter-writing campaign to oppose the CSE, but our collective student voices fell on deaf ears when it mattered most. I'll be throwing away my $975 plus travel and hotel costs with the rest of those graduating in 2005 and beyond. :mad:
     
  15. Kalel

    Kalel Membership Revoked
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    A lot of organizations and med schools did put up a lot of resistance. The original plan was for this exam to be implemented during my year (class of 2004), but thanks to the resistance, they delayed the requirement for the exam by 1 yr. Doesn't help you guys, but at least I don't have to take it. :)
     
  16. doc2bee101

    doc2bee101 Junior Member

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    i'm a bit confused tho...the $975 fee that is required...does that include the actual exam, the step II exam or this fee is only for the CS part?
     
  17. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    From what I recall, it's just the CS.

    What really pisses me off is that North Carolina already has a standardized clinical skills exam for med students in the state (at no cost to students). Other states may as well, and I know for sure that other schools do. I resent that this new exam ignores the ability of individual schools or states to evaluate the performance of their own students.

    And I'm extra pissed off because I just got an e-mail that was pleased to inform me of the discounted hotel rates that the exam NBME folks negotiated for us. The DISCOUNTED rate was $99 at the Sheraton. Yeah, right. I'll be at the Motel 6, thanks all the same.
     
  18. samsoccer7

    samsoccer7 Senior Member
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    From what I understand, and the funniest thing about this stupid test, is that they CAN'T fail anybody, b/c there is no standard as to what passing or failing is!! We are essentially guinea pigs for the future, yet we still have to pay $975. That's like enrolling yourself in 5 overnight hospital stays so they can check asymptomatic patients for level of anger when receiving rectal exams every 2 hours, and YOU have to pay THEM to do it!!

    They should AT LEAST make the stupid test free. I don't mind the travel, in fact, I'm gonna make a vacation out of it. But come on, charge us 1 G for it?
     
  19. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    Yup, the thing I hate most about it is that we have to pay to be guinea pigs. Hell, I would have settled for them discounted the price of the exam. We get to take the PIPE for free if we want. Whoopie. I feel even worse for everyone that has to travel to their testing sites and spend even more.
     
  20. Stinger86

    Stinger86 Intern year? Ha!
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    For years and years and years my school's had a senior clinical exam that must be passed for graduation, and that's worked out pretty well. Now, I have to spend an extra grand in order to take what is basically the same exam in a far-off city. Why can't you just require schools to include a reasonable clinical exam that meets expectations in their curriculum? This is something that could be instituted over several years. Or better yet, just butt out and let us practice medicine how we're going to practice medicine.

    I can see it now, an army of history-taking and physical-exam-performing robots slowly standardizing the "art" of medicine.
     
  21. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    I'd be interested to know which schools DON'T require a clinical skills exam to graduate. Mine definitely does and has for a long time.
     
  22. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    I would not really mind the test that much if it was free and administered at my school. But to travel somewhere else and to pay the 1000 for it, it is outrageous! Isn't it enough that we have a zillion student loans? Now we have to borrow an extra 2000 for the stupid exam. What are these people thinking? Do they want us to spend our entire income on paying back the student loans. No wonder people don't want to do primary care anymore!
     

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