Omar Jibril USMLE Step 2 CS Experience
My CS experience with some tips for the exam
Test centre: Houston, TX
Duration of prep: 3 months as I was working at the same time.
I gave my step 1 and step 2 CK. CS was my last test.
It was so different from the other steps that I didn’t exactly know how to begin preparing for it. I read a lot of experiences and I got to know that there isn’t one right way. Everyone had different backgrounds and different methods. Some used mnemonics some didn’t. Even mnemonics themselves were different.
I bought FA and started reading the first pages to understand the exam and the setting.
Then I went for a vid on YouTube for Asmaa shaboun. It helped a lot. She gives a very good way to master the encounter from the start to transitional questions to closure. She gives some good tips that made me feel comfortable with the whole encounter. At the same time used the blue sheet from neeraj notes and gave them some time to master them. Then I went for the physical examination . I studied it from usmle CS basic notes for majid. And I even watched some YouTube videos to check the special maneuvers. Then I went for the challenging questions and mastered them all from FA.
After finishing all that. I started looking for partner to practice long cases. I had 2 partners. One on the phone and other live partner. I started doing long cases in a systemic fashion. For example I finish all cardio and pulmo cases together ( chest pain, cough, sore throat etc.) And I finish the mini cases associated with them. I didn’t give mini cases much time as I recently gave my CK and was preparing for step 3 at the same time of studying for the CS. So the DDx and tests weren’t very hard to recall. Once I was done with one system I repeated it all again with my partners before moving on to the next system. By the time I finished all systems I was done with FA twice. By that time there were 20 days left for my exam. Then I started focusing on PN during these days with repeating FA third time with a 3rd partner live.
Dont stress too much on the physical exam. Keep it simple. Dont follow FA PE of each case. Be more focused than that. If you had a chest pain case. Go for chest and lung examination and that’s it. Give more time to closure explaining your differential and tests you will be doing and some tips you can provide the SP. Use simple language. If you had to choose a complicated word try and uncomplicate it i.e you suspect pt has pleuritis then tell the pt you might be having an inflammation of the pleura which is a covering that surrounds the lung.
If the pt is rude dont take it personal. It’s their job to make it difficult for you. If you handle it well they will be easy on u.
Practice typing. Practice makes improvement.
Manage time well. I used to practice cases in 13 minutes with my 3rd partner at the end.
Dont let anyone tell you what you can and what you can’t do. Anything is achievable with smart planning, time and consistency.
Good luck to everyone.