I’m about half way through my third year of medical school. I’ve completed what most consider the three toughest rotations a med student will face which include Internal Medicine, Surgery, and OBGYN. I’m at the point when those dreaded board exams are again too close for comfort. In a mere 2 months I’ll be sitting for my Step 2 CS exam, or standing rather, and it’s terrifying me. It’s time to get back into study mode.
For those who are not familiar with the Step 2 Clinical Skills exam, it pretty much has a self-explanatory title. It is an exam which truly measures ones capability as a clinician at this stage in your medical career. You will have a total of 12 patient encounters, 15 minutes per station to interview your patient, and 10 minutes per station to write up your note. It’s also graded on a Pass/ Fail basis, so one merely needs a passing score to move forward. I began preparing for this by ordering a great review book for the exam which goes through hundreds of possible clinical scenarios. Although study guides are a great resource, I feel like the best way to prepare for a clinical based exam is to find a good study partner, and really simulate the patient- provider experience.
Good luck to all those preparing to take this exam in the future. Just prepare, be yourself, maintain a positive attitude, and I’m sure you’ll do fine.