Riichi Andre Ota Gonzalez – USMLE Step 2CS Experience
I have just passed step 2 CS on second attempt.
I took in May of last year for the first time, thinking that it would be easy to pass, but it was not.
So this time I took a private course and study hard and passed.
When I failed I spent only 3 weeks for preparation, 3hs per day.
But now I spent 6 weeks, 10 hs per day, just to make sure.
I think if you study really hard in the right way, it is enough to study for 4 weeks, 6hs a day.
I want to talk about the 3 components.
ICE: you need a clinical knowledge; there are around 60 signs and symptoms that could be possibly presented in the exam, and you need to know for each of them; differential diagnosis you are supposed to think, questions you are supposed to ask, physical examination you are supposed to perform (give a clear instruction to follow), and workups you are supposed to write in (do not repeat 2 expensive workup such as CT and MRI). For this, sherazi note is helpful, and if you do your own flashcard, it is even better.
CIS: you MUST gain trust of the patient and build rapport by asking the right question, speaking clearly, showing confidence and sympathy, looking into their eyes while talking, nodding, paraphrasing, and offering tissue if starts crying or coughing. It is strongly related with ICE and SEP.
SEP: speak up slowly and clearly. Do not use jargon, or medical terms. You don`t need to impress them with your perfect English. English is just a tool for communication. If you do not understand the SP, ask only once for repetition. Make sure they understand you, and you understand them. If they understand you, accents don`t matter.
The real exam was quite straight forward. Do not be afraid. SPs are cooperative and instructed NOT to screw you.
Feel free to ask any questions, I am more than happy to answer.