You are now done with Step 1 and Step 2 CK on your USMLEs. You’re moving forward in your journey of becoming a doctor. Now, it’s time for the USMLE Step 2 CS.
And we have tips to help you succeed!
Get a Jump Start to the USMLE Step 2 CS
What Is the USMLE Step 2 CS?
USMLE Step 2 is divided into two parts:
- Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge)
- Step 2 CS (Clinical Science)
The CS is more of an interactive exam. You get to interact with actors posing as standardized patients (SPs). Each standardized patient will pretend to have a certain medical condition. The exam will test your clinical skills related to diagnosing the patient and finding out what she/he is ailing from and how to treat it.
In addition to passing Step 1 and Step 2 CK, passing Step 2 CS means you qualify for the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). In other words, you qualify to begin your residency or fellowship.
And if you’re an international medical graduate (IMG), passing certifies you with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
When Do You Take the USMLE Step 2 CS?
The USMLE Step 2 CS exam is taken by medical students during their 4th year of study. At this point in your education, you will have completed most of your coursework. Also, you will have completed several clinical rotations in different hospitals.
This is the perfect time to take the CS exam while all the knowledge is still fresh in your mind.
What Is on the USMLE Step 2 CS Exam?
This is an 8-hour exam. There are 12 actors that will play the role of standardized patients. Each one will have a different health condition for you to diagnose and recommend treatment.
The examiners expect the following from you:
- Communicate with the actor-patients professionally
- Show them empathy and respond to them correctly
- Answer all their questions
- Fill in their patient notes
- Perform like a doctor in a clinic, hospital, emergency room or medical office would
CS will test mainly on physical systems related to the following categories:
- Women’s health
How to Pass the USMLE Step 2 CS
If you’re an IMG, keep in mind that the USMLE Step 2 CS exam tests your communication skills and your ability to speak and understand English. Your examiners want to see how well you verbally communicate with patients.
The best way to prepare for Step 2 CS is to figure out what you’ll have to say during the test. Determine the common questions that med students ask patients when collecting data from them during medical exams.
After you know what to say, you need to figure out how to say it. You MUST talk to patients in a polite way. Learn how to pose the questions to them as you examine them.
It’s important to treat each actor as a real patient during the CS exam. Make the situation feel real and natural for them. Your interaction with patients will provide a good experience for the exam. The time you spend doing clinical rotations is a good opportunity to build and hone in on crucial bedside manner.
USMLE Step 2 CS Test Prep
This test is vital because it helps evaluate your ability to win over your patients and earn their trust while teaching you how to be empathetic. Find a test prep course to help you familiarize yourself with the exam situation.
Here at MedSmarter, we give you tips to help boost your confidence. We also help our students pass Step 2 CS through mock exams. Our mini-mock and full-mock exams give you a real-world idea of exactly what to expect while taking the test.
Learn from board-certified physician instructors in a clinical-like environment. Comprehensive crash courses and CS mock exams take place on the MedSmarter Suwanee, GA campus, just minutes from Atlanta. Click the button below to learn more.