Samantha White – USMLE Step 2 CS Experience
Passed CS in Philadelphia. Also an IMG here. Practiced using first aid thoroughly, literally memorized the book. Some cases didn’t come from the book but you can figure it out once you know how to ask pertinent positives and negatives. Did very focused PE, bullet HPI with pertinent positive and negative, two to three diagnosis for each. Exam is doable just need to study!! It’s definitely not the quantity it’s the quality they are looking for. DO NOT TAKE THIS EXAM LIGHTLY!!! You have to get at least 1 differential diagnosis for 10 cases correct and support with your findings.
Will be happy to answer any question. Good luck to everyone!
Edit: I am copying what I mentioned in my comments below, it might help some people
If you can, try to find people who passed CS to assess you for few cases and give a feed back. I can send my practice notes PDFs which was timed if anyone wants to look at it. I can also give feed back on your notes. You can DM me. It might give you a realistic view of what can be written in 10 min.
Don’t freak out just practice with timing. If it’s a knee pain, do knee observation, Palpation, ROM and neuro on both legs and check pulses but don’t do heart lung and what not. Similar headache must do full neuro, but not heart and lung.
Start small like 3-4 cases, read the case, try to remember most likely diagnosis and write it out. Then start timing yourself. I found couple of people In Philadelphia and practiced like 8-12 cases a day for 2 weeks and everyone of us passed! I found people through this page. There was a what’s app group and I asked if anyone wanted to practice and people responded.
Everything should be focused, your questions, you PE, summary, your plan, counsel! I am emphasizing focus because of time shortage. If you ask any irrelevant things, which is hard not to, just end it when you realize it. Don’t try to stretch it. Trust me you will loose control of the case and will go down south.
the cases are very simple for example stomach pain in pediatric can be a life threatening like intussusception or simply constipation. As a doctor you want to rule out life threatening condition. So ask the pertinent life threatening like blood in the stool, activity, Nausea Vomiting, fever, duration, crying, if these are all negative, you have to think it can be simple as constipation, the most common cause of abdominal pain in pediatrics . That’s how every case should be thought.
If patient is in severe pain, I would say anything =>7 tell them that you will give them pain medication while waiting for the results! It’s ok to say so. That way you are ensuring them that you care.
These are just hypothetical scenarios.
Know differential for common cases such as chest pain, SOB, abdominal pain, headache, UTI in Med and women, knee pain, always ask any recent URI. Trust me this question will save your life. Pericarditis, glomerulonephritis, reactive arthritis, Pseudomembranous colitis due to Ab use for URI and many more.
It’s ok to sacrifice some component of PE but not the closure and counseling. You will loose points on not doing so. Always ask if they have any question or concern.
it doesn’t matter if SPs are friendly or not. They are acting and we should act accordingly. Our job as a doctor is to elicit chief complain, make them feel better say right things and now worry about them being unfriendly. The cases are easy but will have to ask right questions to find out.
I finished almost all cases 12-13 min and was able to finish notes on time.
Good luck to everyone!