1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

My Step 2 CS Story

Discussion in 'Step II' started by asmallchild, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,039
    Likes Received:
    486
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    First things first, PASS.

    Admittedly, not as exciting as a high Step 1 score (or even a high Step 2 CK store for that matter)

    And certainly not as exciting as hopefully matching into the field of my choice.

    But I figured it would be nice to share some tips regarding Step 2 CS.

    I realize I am an AMG and English is my 1st language so it would really require some talent on my part to fail it, but there are those who do need the extra help.

    I highly recommend First Aid for Step 2 CS. If nothing else, it gives you a basic outline on what you should be doing. I will concede the cases themselves are a bit more complex than what you will actually see on Step 2 CS. As an AMG, I wasn't worried enough to launch a full scale study plan for CS. But I did spend 10 mins a night reading over portions of FA for Step 2 CS in the month preceding my exam. Cumulatively, I'm sure it still adds up to quite a decent amount of preparation

    I spent the vast majority of my time on the history (~60-75%) as it was a huge point of weakness for me on my in-school CS practice run. I would highly recommend having a good system for proceeding through a history INCLUDING a thorough review of systems. This was something that was advertised as unimportant at my school. I would say it's the best way at picking up the little points on the exam.

    Performing a physical isn't one of my strengths which is why I rushed through most of them. I felt the CS graders were certainly more lenient than those at my in-school exam. I think it's more a matter of whether you cover the actual physical exam rather than if you did it 100% correctly. Things like reassuring the patient, aiding the patient, washing your hands prior to exam, warming your stethoscope, etc... etc... are all more important than the actual physical itself (IMO)

    Finally, we get to the note. I would recommend starting from the bottom first. I feel a disproportionate amount of points are probably granted to the assessment and plan portion of the note. And since it does require a bit of thought, you may want to put on your thinking cap at the beginning of the process rather than at the end when panic sets in.

    I felt (at least during my exam) the cases in CS were intentionally set up to be a bit ambiguous to help with the A&P portion of your note. For instance, patients who seem like they might have classic RUQ pain with +Murphy's sign for cholecystitis will also mention epigastric pain radiating to the back so that you can list pancreatitis in the assessment portion as well as its entailing plan.

    Hope this helps! (I'll admit to being worried about this exam but like everyone reassures you, it really is quite tough to fail it as an AMG)
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. NPR

    NPR
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Congratulations, useful advice
     
  4. Freakingzooming

    Freakingzooming Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just took this wonderful wonderful exam last week. Man was it long. It was also extremely painful. Plan if you take it, to leave the testing center 8 hrs later.

    I ran out of space on most of my sections. They don't give oyu much to work with. I think I took a lot of people's advice on this thing and tried to do the little things like drape my patients, summarize, wash hands, ask the open ended questions. But seriously after the 5th patient, you start making little mistakes and forgetting to do tests or exams here and there. And you start focusing on doing more of the standardized patient stuff to get points than trying to figure out what is going on with each patient. I wouldn't be surprised if I fail this sucker for missing something like not going over a full Mini mental exam.

    The First aid for step 2 CS was excellent for prep. Wished I could've spent more time studying it before the big day. Just remember to show up to the testing center with some food. It's a long long day. Bring caffeine in some fashion.
     
    #3 Freakingzooming, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  5. Mariah246

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    0
    just passed as well, long exam, helpful tips
     
  6. Saladin MD

    Saladin MD EM Resident
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    That's good to know. I *hate* being tested for physical exam. Frankly, I suck at it right now.
     
  7. DocRocker

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    can you explain what "draping patients" means?

    aren't the sp's already draped?
     
  8. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,039
    Likes Received:
    486
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    My patients weren't draped upon entering the room. I had to take the white sheet and hand it to them. (I usually invited them to drape themselves in the manner that made them most comfortable)
     

Share This Page