Step 2 CS - Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions that International Medical Graduates (IMG) preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CS Exam often ask. If you have other questions that are not on this page, please feel free to contact us.
Q. Where is the Step 2CS Review workshop conducted?
A: Our workshop is conveniently located in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ which is easily accessible from Newark/Liberty Airport, and just a short bus ride from New York City. See Directions
Q. Can the Step 2CS Review workshop help prepare Americans as well as International Medical Graduates?
A: Absolutely! Our weekend program offers an affordable, comprehensive preparation for anyone who wants to dramatically increase his or her chances for passing the exam!
Q: Is my USMLE Step 2 CS exam being scored by medical doctors?
A: Standardized patients, not medical doctors, are scoring all components of your actual step 2 cs exam except the patient note.
Q: If I do very poorly on one case, can I fail the exam?
A: This would be very unlikely as your final score on the step 2 cs exam is determined by your overall performance on all of the cases (there are probably one or two “experimental” cases which will not be counted toward your score).
Q: Do I need to ask for the patient’s permission to enter the room, take notes, or perform the physical exam?
A: The short answer is NO. There is an implied understanding that these are functions of the doctor’s responsibilities. In general, asking for permission is not only unnecessary – it’s inappropriate.
Q: Is it better to stand or sit while taking a history?
A: Your position during history taking should depend on how best to maintain comfortable eye contact with the patient. If the patient is supine, you should always stand – otherwise, either is usually acceptable.
Q: Can I wear gloves instead of washing hands before performing the physical exam?
A: According to USMLE, gloves can be worn instead of hand washing. However, the majority of step 2 cs examinees do NOT wear gloves.
Q: Should I examine heart and lungs first in every physical exam?
A: While examination of heart and lungs may be expected in many cases, many other cases may require more extensive examination of other systems which better address the complaint. Unless you are dealing with a cardiac or respiratory presentation, it may be better to examine heart and lungs last, only if time allows.
Q: Do I need to turn off the light to perform a fundoscopic exam?
A: Although it may not be required, it is probably a good idea. When the light is turned off, a lower, secondary light in the room will allow you to see. This is also recommended for photophobic patients.
Q: Can I still ask a history question once I’ve started the physical exam?
A: While this practice should never be used as a “time saving” strategy, it is completely acceptable to ask an occasional history question while performing the PE.
Q: How many possible differentials am I required to offer to the patient?
A: In some cases, it may be difficult (and therefore not required) to offer a diagnostic impression without the aid of lab results. Otherwise, it is advisable to offer one impression as a possibility.
Q: Will I fail SEP if I have a foreign accent?
A: A foreign accent, in and of itself, is not grounds for failure. SEP scores are a function of how much perceived effort is required for the SP and the attendee to accurately understand each other.