Yogesh Raut USMLE Step 2CS Experience – RECENT EXAMINEE
Got my cs results – Passed!! What a relief!!
I am writing this experience because I know how relieving it is to read other’s experience when you are just few weeks away from your exam and panicked! Here is my experience-
Center – Houston
Prep time – 4 weeks
Study material – FA and Sherazi notes(must)
Well! I am an IMG from India and was in my internship year when I took the exam. CS WAS MY FIRST USMLE EXAM, So if you are confused about giving cs before step 1/Ck , Don’t worry, go for it!
There are some challenges that you have to overcome to keep yourself calm in this exam-
1) First challenge is to get a date in Houston, so book well in advance and even if you don’t get a date don’t worry, go to Houston , start preparing as many guys cancel the exam, you can get that date. Try to plan your cs after some electives which will help you in terms of communication and will build up your confidence to approach the patients, because believe me things are different in USA as compared to India.
2) If you take the exam in Houston which I will recommend though it is a standardized exam, you will get lot of live study partners from all around the world. But do not get intimidated by others and their preparation. Pick your own style and practice!
3) The most important thing is to choose right study material. I would suggest to stick to only FA and Sherazi notes, CSE videos, its more than enough! Do not skip Minicases in FA.
4) At least have 2-3 LIVE study partners, & practice a lot!! Could not emphasize importance of these two! Because no matter how much you practice over Skype you won’t be able to cross check your mistakes and fake empathy!
5) If you have slow typing speed (as in my case) and you don’t have much time left, practice to finish your encounter 2-3 minutes earlier, which is quite possible if you are well versed with your questions, what to ask and what not to!
6) The next thing is whether to join any coaching classes or not? Personally I feel that there is no need if you have done FA + sherazi and have 2-3 live study partners ; its more than enough!! You can even arrange your own mock test with your group in your room itself! But if you are not confident enough and have lots of money go for it!
7) Now about the exam day –
Always spend 30 seconds to write down name/age/ vitals/ mnemonics/ DDs, before you enter the room, because it will save you a lot of time and awkward pauses during your encounter!
Be prepared for few guys who just read the name and enter!! They will do it 12 times in total!! Don’t get panicked just be calm!!
Smile always. Do a FOCUSED physical examination, decide which Systembto examine while taking history only! So that you will save the time! Do not forget to close the case and counsel the patient in simple terms!
Never forget to ask following questions after summarizing –
Would you like to add something?/ Did I miss something? And they will help you and BOOM you will get one more DD! Believe me they are friendly.
You are gonna miss out on something in the real exam which will definitely lead to PTSD after exam! But believe me they judge you overall so even if you do some mistakes/ forget something, don’t worry ignore it and concentrate on your next encounter!
Yes I admit that it’s a nerve wrecking exam, but overall I enjoyed it! This exam is all about your confidence, communication skills, and some clinical knowledge! Just be empathetic/ smile/ be friendly/ respect your patients!!
All the best guys!! keep practicing!! If you have any questions feel free to contact!