Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha
Guide to USMLE Step II: Clinical Skills and the OSCE
The Right Resources
The best preparation for Step 2 CS is the OSCE. The best way to study for the OSCE is to have shown up to your third year rotations and the 2nd year Physical Diagnosis course. No, really! The exams are designed to test you on skills that Jefferson wants to make sure you learn.
Don’t spend too much time studying for Step 2 CS. This is Step 1 or Step 2 CK where you need to devote protected time studying. There are, however, ways to help you feel more prepared and comfortable going into the exams themselves without spending too much time on it:
- Dr. Worzala and Dr. Berg give you a packet of handouts before the OSCE. These are very helpful reviews of the major parts of the history and physical and important clinical skills.
- If you weren’t happy with how you did on the OSCE, Dr. Worzala hosts review sessions to go over your performance (see previous section). If you feel shaky about your history or exam skills in general, the Clinical Skills center is always available as a resource.
- Quickly review the outline of the general physical exam in Bates or from the physical diagnosis handouts. Also review the focused exams (cardiac, pulm, gi, musculoskeletal). If you know that you don’t do joint exams or neuro exams well, treat yourself to a refresher.
- Review “other” types of histories and exams. Remember how to take a gynecological or obstetrical history (although don’t review how to do a pelvic exam), psychiatric history and exam, and pediatric history.
- Make mental notes of things you know you forget to ask or do, especially under stress or time constraints. These are things that may earn you points.
- The bookstore has several study-guides on sale. First Aid Step 2 CS Clinical checklists and Blueprints Q&A were ok. In some areas they did more harm that good—they focused more on zebras and didn’t list items correctly in the diagnostic work-up section. The introductions and test-taking strategies sections are good to skim.
Last updated: January 2007