leorl

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Just adding this for now. Will add more as I gather more Step II experiences. Please feel free to share!

Step II CK costs $695, plus a surcharge if taking the exam in a location other than the US or Canada. Step II CS costs $1200, for a grand total of at least $1,895 for taking Step II.
 

kemc

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You are right the dollar figure for both steps is outrageous.
Kaplan Live lectures notes for step 2 CK, USMLE World and Kaplan Q bank are great sources to rock the step 2 CK.

I have the following plan for my step2CK, step2CS, observer ship and 2007 match. I would like to get some input from you guys. please feel free to comment.

Passed Step 1, few months ago, 88%
Planning to take Step 2CK in June/July 2006.
Would like to do some sort of observer ship for 3 months after step 2 CK
Planning to take Step 2 CS in October/November 2006
Looking to match for 2007 residency

I am an IMG, however US citizen.
My questions are;
Does the above plan look attainable??
Will 3 months of observer ship would be enough to look good on job app, as I do not have any US clinical or non clinical exp???
Also when should I register for Step 2 CS if I would like to take in Oct/Nov 2006 and would like to get its result back for step 2CS before 2007 match???
At the end, how should approach the 2007 match when time comes ???

I really put you guys on spot... didn't I :)

Thanks!!
 

neilc

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kemc said:
You are right the dollar figure for both steps is outrageous.
Kaplan Live lectures notes for step 2 CK, USMLE World and Kaplan Q bank are great sources to rock the step 2 CK.

I have the following plan for my step2CK, step2CS, observer ship and 2007 match. I would like to get some input from you guys. please feel free to comment.

Passed Step 1, few months ago, 88%
Planning to take Step 2CK in June/July 2006.
Would like to do some sort of observer ship for 3 months after step 2 CK
Planning to take Step 2 CS in October/November 2006
Looking to match for 2007 residency

I am an IMG, however US citizen.
My questions are;
Does the above plan look attainable??
Will 3 months of observer ship would be enough to look good on job app, as I do not have any US clinical or non clinical exp???
Also when should I register for Step 2 CS if I would like to take in Oct/Nov 2006 and would like to get its result back for step 2CS before 2007 match???
At the end, how should approach the 2007 match when time comes ???

I really put you guys on spot... didn't I :)

Thanks!!
my only advice is DO NOT wait til after the observership to do CS. do it as soon as possible. it is not a difficullt exam, but you do want to give yourself some room to retake it if failed. i would simply do it 2 weeks after you do your CK. also, to find out when scores are ready, look at the score report dates on the usmle.org website. and, finally, as soon as you know when you will take it, register. i would do it NOW.

that exam is a huge pain in the ass, but really easy. my biggest regret is waiting til october to take it. i am still waiting for scores, and a surprising number of places will not even interview you without it. so, just take it early, i would say by june latest, for 2007 match
 

bts4202

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Neil is right about when to take step 2. As an IMG, it is more difficult to get a residency than a US grad in general. A big problem is that there are many potential roadblocks for IMG's including visas and failing the US exams. Most PD's are worried about wheither you will even be able to join the program if they rank you. While the visa issue is a whole other discussion, you can ease a PD's mind a lot by having ALL of your exams completed and scores reported when you apply.

For IMG's (and in general) it is best to apply to programs on the first day possible, meaning Sept 1st. I do not mean to imply that if you do not apply on Sept 1st that you will not get a residency, but you will likely get the best response if you apply very early and have all your exams completed.

So, regardless of your rotation schedule, if you plan to match in the following march, you need to have taken your tests by at least the end of june or early july of the year prior to the match. That will give enough time for your results to come back before you send out your applications (barring any major delays).

Some may disagree with this advice, but this is how I did it and it seems to make things a bit easier when compared to a lot of the stories I have heard on the interview trail.

Good luck
 

neilc

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bts4202 said:
Neil is right about when to take step 2. As an IMG, it is more difficult to get a residency than a US grad in general. A big problem is that there are many potential roadblocks for IMG's including visas and failing the US exams. Most PD's are worried about wheither you will even be able to join the program if they rank you. While the visa issue is a whole other discussion, you can ease a PD's mind a lot by having ALL of your exams completed and scores reported when you apply.

For IMG's (and in general) it is best to apply to programs on the first day possible, meaning Sept 1st. I do not mean to imply that if you do not apply on Sept 1st that you will not get a residency, but you will likely get the best response if you apply very early and have all your exams completed.

So, regardless of your rotation schedule, if you plan to match in the following march, you need to have taken your tests by at least the end of june or early july of the year prior to the match. That will give enough time for your results to come back before you send out your applications (barring any major delays).

Some may disagree with this advice, but this is how I did it and it seems to make things a bit easier when compared to a lot of the stories I have heard on the interview trail.

Good luck
see? we can agree on some things! i 100% stand behind what bts is saying. so true for IMG's. don't give them any reason to not interview you. and, be ready with the app early. i got the VAST majority of my interviews befor november. and, the ones i didn't get were often waiting for my CS results. (stupid test).
 

kemc

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Thanks to both of you for your honest opinion!. I will try not to give too much a gap between Step CK and Step CS, as both of you recomended.

Thanks !!!
 

FlindersGrad

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I guess it depends on what residency you plan on doing, but in general an observership is certainly not required. I came to the US from Australia, and I am in the match right now. I have no US experience (only 2.5 years as resident in Aus) and no US LOR's. I am in the match for anesthesia, which you know is very competitive at the moment. I got more than enough interviews to hopefully secure a job.
The guys above are certainly right with regards to the step 2 CS. Take it ASAP to make sure you get your score in time for the match. As an IMG you have to have all scores to enter the match (ie ECFMG certificate). The exam is pretty simple.
Step 2 is a fun exam. It is very clinical. I found the Blue Prints series really good, and First Aid is invaluable. But most of all you need to practice questions. USMLE world Q-bank is really good. Probably better than Kaplan because it has more questions, and it is cheaper.
 
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leorl

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Step 2 CS is pretty straightforward. All you really need is First Aid for Step 2 CS. They're mainly clinical cases, and some cases come from the book and some don't (I got a couple really weird ones that threw me off). The trick is to try to ask everything they want in 15 minutes, and show some interpersonal skills as well (that you care, etc. bullcrappy stuff) and explain to the patient what's going on (with a concluding statement about what you think they have and what investigations you want to do).

Typing or writing is your choice. They give you a word limit when typing and you'd want to be able to type pretty fast. However, with writing they don't give you much room so you'd want to be writing pretty small...I write small anyway and even I had trouble fitting all pertinent things in.

It's not too much different from clinical experience in your hospitals, only a shorter time to do the history and exam and write-up , and for those who aren't native English speakers, you'd want to make sure you're well-spoken, clear and not abrupt.
 
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leorl

leorl

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Step 2 CK study materials:
1) Step Up to Medicine - excellent excellent medical book
2) USMLEWorld question bank - www.usmleworld.com
3) USMLE Step 2 Secrets by Adam Brochert


4) OBGYN, Pediatrics - my notes from when I did those courses. If you're not confident with them, then try looking at Blueprints series for those two books
5) ENT/Ophthalmalogy - same, didn't really study, just remembered from my rotation. There's a couple quick sections on it in the back of Step Up to Medicine
6) Surgery - same, mainly own notes, UW and USMLE Step 2 Secrets
7) First Aid for USMLE Step 2 CK - actually not incredibly helpful. looked at the rapid review section in the back.
8) Psychiatry - didn't really review much, Kaplan notes
 

goldensnow

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hi, i am IMG, currently working in taiwan
i have passed step 2 ck in dec, score 254/99
then have sat step 1 , has passed , waiting for score report via mail
point is , what do i go from here, i want to apply csa, but to tell the truth, i am scare to sit that exam,
when should i take it, and what courses should i need to taken.
for anyone who have similar situation, please reply
 

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What do you think of using Toronto Notes for Step 2?
 

jtlc2345

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What do you think of using Toronto Notes for Step 2?
Not sure about Toronto Notes but for Step 2 CK, but I'd definately recommend USMLE World in tutor mode - I also used Rapid Review for Step 2, but I'm not convinced it was all that helpful in the end.

Jonathan