USMLE Wich is the difference between Step 1 and Step 2 CK?

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2+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2017
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Hi guys!

I am starting to study for Step 1. I saw sample test questions on the USMLE web, but I feel they are very similar test. For example, you are asked for diagnosis in both.

Thank you so much guys! I am IMG, so is a little bit difficult to catch some information.


2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2018
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Making a diagnosis is key on all USMLEs.

According to the NBME's item writing manual, here are the goals of the the three different NBMEs.

The goals of the USMLEs

Step 1: to assess your understanding and ability to apply important concepts of the sciences underlying the practice of medicine, with emphasis on principles and mechanisms of underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy.

Step 2 CK: to assess your ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision, with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.

Step 3: to assess your ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings.

In other words, basic sciences are key on Step 1 and become less and less important with each exam, whereas clinical medicine becomes increasingly important. Hope this helps clarify things for you.
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