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Posted by Reka from IP on November 06, 2014 at 14:49:55:

I had wanted to do the 2-CS and get it out of the way b4 I take the Step 2. But there were a few problems. How do I begin to prepare for this exam? What books did I need? How long
should I prepare? My only consolation was that the exam was just clinicals (hx, PE, and notes). So, I could handle that! But wait a minute- why do people still fail it? I figured if I could
answer that question, then I will know how to avoid their mistakes. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone who could tell me anything.

SECRET 1: Visit the USMLE.ORG 2-CS site to access any bit of info! I had been reading my step 2 books at that time. So, I just continued up till when I got my CSA permit and then
watched the video.

SECRET 2: Watch that video WITH your spouse/cousin/mother/father or any adult you would want to practice on. It is even better if that person has been in this country for a while
and knows what an average American pt expects out of his/her physician.

I did not actually begin to practice on my wife till a week b4 the actual test (some nerve). It is better, though, for y'all to begin about 2weeks into the test, especially if U are not very
confident in Hx and PE. What I did was to read out her own part to her and allow her to act as if she were that patient (male or female). And b/c she had watched the video with me
she already knew what the official expectations were. Plus she has been in this country for a while and knows what an average pt expects out of his/her doctor. So, she was a perfect

We did this 3 times a day on three occasions. At first, I was nervous! I couldn't even write up my notes within 10 minutes. But this improved after a while. Thereafter, I sat on my own
to re-enact clinical scenarios in my head and how I would respond.

SECRET 3: You must know how to associate your patients' symptoms and formulate your DDs. So, from the foregoing you will see that there was not much else that I did nor was
really required. The step 2 books I was reading simply helped me to associate symptoms with the view to listing the differential diagnosis.

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