USMLE Step 2 CS Experience – Ashwin Bharadwaj


I passed !!

Prep time – 2 years!!

Yes, you read it right! TWO Years.

I have severe persistent developmental stuttering – my speech is severely dysfluent. I have to speak very slowly if I have to get any words out.

I Started my prep July of 2017. I went to Houston for my first attempt at CS in March, 2018. Did Gold prep course (which I have to say was very useful); But after the gold mock exam I was clearly told that I wouldn’t pass the exam if I did not get more time for each case.

So, I cancelled my exam, came back to India and re-applied with request for extra testing time. I had to send in documentation of my disability along with a personal statement explaining my special requirements. USMLE took 2 months to review my documents and thereafter approved me 15 minutes extra time per case (total of 30 minutes per case)

Meanwhile I was doing speech therapy at NIMHANS and All India institute of Speech and hearing.

December 2018 – my speech became worse.

march 2019 – I started on an experimental regimen of Aripiprazole (basal ganglia dopaminergic excess is postulated to be one of the causes of stuttering). It dramatically improved my speech!! ; however I was suffering severe extrapyramidal side effects. I had almost become like a Parkinson disease patient. But, I was sure that I could clear CS with my “new-found” fluency.

June 2019 – 4 days before I was to leave for Houston, I suffered a GTCS. My neurologist took me off of the aripiprazole

Despite pressure from all quarters to give up on the exam, I left for the US on June 17th.

June 27th 2019 – finally gave my exam. I stuttered throughout. Because my exam was “special”, exam was over 10 hours long – really exhausting. I totally screwed up 2 cases but did okay in the rest 10.

Got my result today. Passed ! Borderline performance in SEP and CIS, but high performance in ICE.

Moral of the story – don’t give up. believe in yourself and it Is possible

October 12, 2019
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