Emy Ash’s Houston RECENT Experience of USMLE Step 2 CS
Passed the monster CS exam .
Exam date May , Houston center……Alhamdulellah
My study was about 40-45 days , started with listening to Asmaa shaboun videos to get an idea about how to proceed , then did FA CS only the long cases (didnt have time for mini cases or challenging Q) and Sheerazi(5 star source) , stayed at parkinn for almost a month.Took a review course which was helpful in terms of the simulation exam experience(but I had friends who simulated exam for each other , like one be the SP for 6 successive cases and the other be the Doctor for 6 cases with PN back to back just like the exam, and I found that very good if u cant afford courses) . I did my best during that month and practiced with many people and tried to improve my english and PN cause they were my weakest parts in the simulation exam ,practiced like 8-10 cases per day with their PN. some days at the beginning of prepration were less that that.
>>>the last few days , practiced only 3-4 cases per days and focused on PN writing , studied alone most of the time. (I could have done better in PN , so hopefully ull do that)
***Exam date : center was very good , organized ,very friendly people. SP were fine , they dont give u information spontaneously as I have been told , no they give u the info when u ask for it so u gotta know what to ask for .Must learn to do focused exam cause time is limited ,u cant in case of diarrhea do HEENT+chest+heart+Abdomen and expect to finish in 13 or 14 min ,if u managed to finish in 15 min at all .so be focused u can do HEENT and focused exam related to C/O.
****Must practice to finish at 12-13 min so that at real exam u manage to do that and spare time for Challenging Question or what ever happens cause one case I was asked 2 CQ .
****I used Gloves , didnt like sanitizer at all though I was used to it during the course but it has strong smell and need time to dry and may irritate the SP eye and bla bla ,so used gloves size XL , my hands are kinda small and I used XL which is larger than my acutal size ,so Idont know if ure hands are big what ure gonna do cause a friend and told me the gloves kept tearing from him and he started washing hands.
as I said SP are co-operative and answer upon being questioned ,every encounter has CQ , I closed all encounters except one when I didnt have time for CQ ,so I shacked hands a left and I totally forgot to tell the SP (sry I have Emergency case and so on).
Most cases I did HEENT + Focused exam.
CNS cases: I did motor power very rapid like flexion and extension UL and flexion extension Leg and foot +Bansiki in one case.
thats of course different from having case of shoulder pain where u do motor exam in flexion/extnesion/adduction/abduction.
****DONT EVER FORGET SPECIAL TEST , mostly ull find special test in every case. I caused pain 3 times in GI case but every time I told the SP it will feel uncomfortable but I have to do that and asked for permission, but zts cause its important in that case.In other cases I followed dont cause pain more than twice actually
***Regarding PN:(My typing speed 35 wpb, not good) please dont under estimate it , its really not easy ,All my trials to finish writing less than 10 minutes failed so I had to take time form encounter and that something u cant rely on ,some cases are long like CNS and fatigue cases or slow talking SP so practice practice, I also have alot of typos as u can see obviously and that I cant correct ,may be Iam impulsive by nature .
***I wrote 2 DD in most cases
In one case I forget the supporting PE for all diagnosis.
Make ure Blue sheet organized cause ull cope from it (thnks to my stuy partner ) so u can divide it in 4 columns ok but make the column bigger for HPI ,and some ppl divide HPI int 2 column where they write positive and negative findings .thats very good actually.
*always start bby DD+ Work up , do them very very well and then move up to HPI+ PE boxes
****One important thing : From my experience I suggest u ask in HPI by Differentials ,not by symptoms of each system ,Asmaa shaboun video follows the system wise approach and though I appreciate her efforts , but when I used it I got LOOOOOOOOOST and was thinking and taking time in putting DD in PN and also when giving the patient his diagnosis at the end. but when I followed SHEERAZI (amazing source again ) and made mnemonic for each complaint by DD , was alooooot easier for me . for example: cases of fatigue , ure DD are depression/hypothryoidism/OSA .,,,,,so u write ure Most common DD in small box at the Rt. lower end of ure blue sheet and ask by that , or sometimes I wrote the mnemonic in the HPI and ask b each diagnosis and check sign if included or cross it if excluded.
CS exam isnt easy , but studying it for it was very funny and lovely , I got to meet alot of people and made many friends there. I was so happy that I am willing too take the exam again ,u can study all day long without being bored unlike step1 and CK basically because u have firends and u study and laugh and I really enjoyed that month alot , though it was tiring and I had many weakness to work that was revealed to me by the simulation exam. I am happy I a done with it with Grace of Allah .Sorry for being long. Wish u all the best