As I’m writing this blog, I’m just a few days out from taking Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and it. Feels. Amazing!
Last summer, taking Step 1 before starting third year of school was terrifying because it was our first real standardized exam of medical school. Step 1 is the true culmination of two intense years of classes in the form of a short, yet grueling nine-hour exam. There is also a lot of talk about how our Step 1 scores can really affect where you end up for residency which only magnifies the anxiety! I put in long, full days of studying for almost six weeks and was a nervous wreck during the majority of it. Once it was over, I happily turned the page and moved on to the next chapter of this medical training journey.
Studying for Step 2 CK was a slightly different animal. While the study days were still long, I found the process to be significantly more enjoyable. With our clinical experiences to draw upon, it was really gratifying to see the knowledge base I had built in first and second years of school meld with the clinical management of patients I had focused on in third year. I loved when a question popped up on the screen starring almost the exact same patient I had seen in the hospital or in clinic. Instead of digging deep in my brain trying to remember a specific line in my favorite Board review textbook, I simply recalled the conversation I had with my resident or attending about the management of that patient when I picked my best multiple choice answer. Having context for questions made a huge difference!
With Steps 1 and 2 CK under my belt (we won’t get our scores for Step 2 CK for another month or so!), the last Step I have left of medical school is Step 2 Clinical Skills which is up for me next week. Wish me luck!