Although USMLE step 2 CS is considered by many as the easiest step in all USMLE tests to pass, unfortunately it is also the most avoidable highest failing rate through the last years. The main reason, especially for non-American medical college graduates, is the poor available resources for preparing students for the test.
One of the things that make me very upset is knowing that a student fails USMLE Step 2 CS and what makes me frustrated that they fail because they missed an easy step to do during their encounters that could be easily avoided if they just learn about it before the exam.
There is nothing called studying for USMLE Step 2 CS
Rule number 1: If you study and memorize all USMLE Step 2 CS books without practice, you will surely fail! There is no exception for this rule. All cases are familiar to all medical students and foreign graduates. You already studied all of these cases during your medical school and you see them almost daily in your practice. You should practice until you reach the point of automatically doing all the steps that needed to pass this test. History taking, medical examination, appropriate communication and patient notes are the main subjects you are tested on. Before you go to the test, you need to do all these steps as easy as you sharing facebook posts. A student passed USMLE Step 2 CK with a score of 256 but failed CS told me that when he entered the room for the first encounter, he said:”Hi, I am doctor………….”. He forgot his name!!. I am not exaggerating. He had never practiced how to introduce himself and eventually he never practiced depending on his score on CK thinking that just studying for 3 months is more than enough to master the USMLE Step 2 CS test.
A friend or a family member can help
It is better to practice with a another USMLE Step 2 CS study partner. You can exchange your roles as examiner and examinee and both of you get the experience of both roles. But if you don’t have the chance to find a study partner, you can always use a friend or a family member to play the standardized patient role. I did that myself and it did great for me.
If you miss the first part, go ahead and read it