USMLE TRAINING IN INDIA
Many students take the usmle exam from India. Unfortunately there is no proper usmle training in India. Not only that, many students when they are in medical school do not have any clue about the USMLE or any USMLE training in India. The prospects of doing post-graduation past medical school is known to only a few. USMLE training in India is essential because it is important to lead the students in the correct path as there is lot of time, energy and money spent in the process.
One of the important aspects of the USMLE training in India should be to guide the students about the usmle process itself. Usmle training in India should also include a time line advice on when to get started for the exam which could be as early as 2nd year of medical school. Usmle training in India should also be giving students advice on the financial budget that this journey will involve including flight tickets, usmle exam fees, scheduling permits, reporting of scores etc.
USMLE training in India should also give a glimpse of how much time it takes to prepare for USMLE step 1, USMLE step 2 CK and USMLE Step 2 CS before they get to appear for USMLE Step 3. All the challenging tasks ahead, commitment that is necessary to pursue these goals should be highlighted in USMLE training in India. There are many cities from which a good number of medical students take the USMLE like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc. These cities should have centres that can guide for USMLE training in India. Students should have an opportunity to prepare for these expensive exams in their home country itself so that they don't have to spend atrocious amounts of money for accommodation and food in the United States as it takes several months to get ready. Target USMLE (www.westgatesit.com) can guide the students towards the USMLE journey and give personalized plans. Please contact us through our website if you need to know more. It should be a place where students can get together for combined studies and discussions. The journey is hard enough - a little guidance would be much appreciated by most students!
USMLE Step 2 CS
USMLE Step 2 CS is a very unique exam which requires a unique way of preparation. It is an examination that assesses you as a medical doctor before you get to practice in the United States. USMLE Step 2 CS tests you on 3 components: ICE (integrated clinical encounter), CIS (Communication interpersonal skills) and SEP ( spoken English proficiency).
The "ICE component" encompasses the data gathering and patient note skills. Most of the ICE component gets graded by the physician who corrects your patient note and the physical exam component gets judged by the Standardized patient (SP). The CIS and SEP part are entirely judged by the SPs. USMLE Step 2 CS pass requires you to pass all three components. Even if you fail in one component you still fail the USMLE Step 2 CS exam!
The USMLE Step 2 CS exam appears to be an easy exam especially after all the efforts you have taken for the USMLE step 1 and USMLE step 2 CK exam. So most students take it for granted and just glance at a few books /forums/ask their seniors how to go about it before they take this expensive exam. Unfortunately those resources alone are not sufficient. There are nuances to the USMLE Step 2 CS exam that are overlooked by many students until they have taken it several times. The examinees then search for reasons why they failed the exam because the result comes as a shock to them though they asked all the questions and recall being nice to their patients during the exam!
Target USMLE has created a very comprehensive, thorough and well thought out game plan for cracking the step 2 cs the first time in the form of 7 Easy steps 2 cs. It is a self study program from home with a 24 hour access for 30 days. Please don't start practicing cases before you know you are doing it the right way. We have had many students who failed step 2 cs pass with this program even after their 3rd or 4th attempt using other resources. It is the first of its kind - an online teaching program with short video lectures and demos that covers A-Z of the USMLE Step 2 CS exam at very nominal prices (1/10th of live coaching rates). You get to watch these videos at your own free time! By going through our step by step program for USMLE Step 2 CS you are all set to practice with your study partners the right way. Step 2 cs Do it once. Do it right!
FIRST AID USMLE STEP 2 CS
As one of the co-authors of First Aid Usmle step 2 cs book (3rd edition, 2009) I know that a great effort has been put together by the first aid usmle step 2 cs team in the form of a book to meet the needs of the student for the usmle step 2 cs exam. It has been the sole source of study material for many students over the years.
In 2012, when the pattern of the exam changed especially in the step 2 cs patient note format, the change was not updated immediately in the 4th edition. The 5th edition released in 2014 is the current edition as of now (2016 Jan). It has updated patient notes under each long case in the format as expected in the USMLE step 2 cs exam. Most students who have taken the exam express in multiple forums that first aid usmle step 2 cs book covers all types of cases that come in the real exam even though it may not be exactly be the same presentation.
However, the general consensus among students is that the first aid usmle step 2 cs book does not train the students as an individual tool to prepare themselves effectively for the ICE component of the step 2 cs exam. There are students who have gone through the book several times but are not still effective in presenting a step 2 cs case. Whether it is a problem at the student's end need to be factored in as well! Though all the information is presented in this book it does not organize it for you to present it as a logical and fluent step 2 cs exam case presentation after you have read the initial sections. Students still look out for formats to practice a clinical case the step 2 cs way even after reading this book. 44 full length cases given in Section IV of the first aid usmle step 2 CS book is a good tool to practice with your study partners. However how to use all 4 sections of the first aid usmle step 2 cs into a practical and feasible 15 min encounter and a 10 min patient note is entirely upto your personal organizing skills.
STEP 2 CS PATIENT NOTE
Step 2 cs patient note has been the one critical factor that has kept many doctors from passing the usmle step 2 cs exam. Ever since the ECFMG changed the format of the USMLE step 2 CS exam in June 2012 many students including USA trained graduates are failing the ICE component of which patient note is one aspect (Data gathering is the other).
The main change was in the step 2 cs patient note where the examinee was asked to come up not only with 3 differential diagnosis but to substantiate their diagnosis with history and physical exam findings. This presents a new challenge to the doctors who need to be attentive for these clues during their stressful time bound 15 min encounter. Step 2 cs patient note requires for the doctor to have good typing skills which many of the international medical graduates and doctors are not adept with.
The step 2 cs patient note is corrected by the physician. There are 2 things that you need to know to write an excellent step 2 cs patient note a) What to type? b) How to type in 10 min time? Both these critical factors are taught in a step by step manner with many tricks and tips in Target USMLEï¿½s Online video tutorial program: 7 Easy steps 2 CS.
Furthermore, to help you achieve your goal of typing step 2 cs patient note in 10 min we have built an interface akin to the real exam where you can practice typing the cases you practice with your cs study partners. You may start off typing step 2 cs patient note in 13 min but eventually with practice you can tune it to under 10 min. Our unique step 2 cs patient note typing interface helps you to time yourself and gives you a warning at the end of 8 min saying you have 2 min left and lets you email a copy to your personal email inbox so that you can send it for correction. Its free! Start practicing step 2 cs patient note in 10 minutes before you actually take the usmle step 2 cs exam.
ECFMG STEP 2 CS
Ecfmg step 2 cs bulletin is published well ahead of time - the previous year for international medical graduates (IMG) to plan your trip to the USA to take this unique exam. You should plan your exam dates/year according to the current ecfmg step 2 cs bulletin of the year you plan to take the exam.
ECFMG step 2 cs test centres are in 5 cities: Houston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. These centers are booked several months ahead by doctors across the world and hence you need to plan in advance
The current 2015 ecfmg step 2 cs exam fee is 1505 USD for a one year eligibility period. You may reschedule the ecfmg step 2 cs exam any time within the eligibility period but if you have to cancel within a 14 day period you are charged a fee. Ecfmg step 2 cs rescheduling fee is 400 USD if you cancel between 3 - 14 days. If you cancel the ecfmg step 2 cs exam 2 days before your scheduled date you will be charged $625. If you cancel 1 day prior to your ecfmg step 2 exam date or miss your appointment you will be paying 1250 when you reschedule (updated information at www.ecfmg.org)
Instead of postponing the ecfmg step 2 cs exam due to deficient prep or lack of confidence you might as well invest the rescheduling fee amount in getting yourself trained to face this exam confidently. Taking group classes doesnï¿½t give a perspective on how YOU are performing. Moreover choosing a coaching class few days in a row and then appearing for a mock exam at the end of it will be more of a drill than actually getting trained for the real exam.
Most students who passed agree that it takes time and practice to get the ecfmg step 2 cs exam done with confidence. Learn the right methods from experts who have trained many, imbibe and practice it with cs study partners, time yourself to see if you can do it, get assessed if you are covering all elements of data gathering and patient note. Think logically before you sign up and spend thousands of dollars on live coaching if you are taking the exam very close to your training. It doesnï¿½t stop with the coaching fee but flight tickets to the centre, accommodation and food for the duration of the course. ECFMG step 2 cs exam preparation is a process of getting yourself trained to take a focused history and physical exam in a time pressured environment under stressful conditions! Get ready the right way and get it done the first time around!
STEP 2 CS SCHEDULE
Step 2 cs schedule for taking the step 2 cs exam is available online at www.ecfmg.org. It is important that you plan your exam date precisely as per the step 2 cs schedule It is especially important for International medical graduates ( IMGs) to take into consideration not just the step 2 cs schedule, but arrange for visa, flight tickets, score reporting dates, probably search for clerkships in hospitals/ universities that they can complete while they are visiting the United States.
The step 2 cs schedule helps as a guideline for medical graduates and doctors to plan their step 2 cs exam date in such a way that they get their score reports on time to appear for the match. A lot of thought needs to go in while looking at the step 2 cs schedule because the score reporting takes longer than it takes for step 1 or step 2 ck. While everyone wants to pass step 2 cs in the first attempt, some students find themselves missing out on the match because they did not plan on failing the first time
The step 2 cs schedule allows examinees to book for their exam date for upto 1 year time frame eligibility in any of the 5 cities that the exam is offered after which the step 2 cs scheduling permit expires. Strategically looking at the step 2 cs schedule, one should plan for a retake of the exam just in case they did not make it the first time. Typically the Step 2 cs schedule shows a testing period over a span of ~ 2 months and a score reporting period of ~3 weeks time. Plan to take the exam based on the score reporting period and give room for a retake, well ahead in time for the application timeline for the match. Most examinees will receive their score report on the first Wednesday of the score reporting period but the test takers who took it in the latter part of the testing period may not get it until later but within the reporting period. So plan well ahead of time!
STEP 2 CS VIDEO TIPS
Action speaks louder than words! As per the old adage seeing some step 2 cs video tips takes your step 2 cs preparation to a newer level than just reading tons and tons of notes and mnemonics. Step 2 cs video tips help you to see what is being said in text books in a practical and presentable manner. Moreover the step 2 cs video tips help you better understand how the acting physician does the manoeuvres in the correct way. Another advantage of the steps 2 cs video tips to see how quickly you can perform those physical exams in just a few minutes by just mimicking what is done in these videos.
There are a lot of videos out there on the internet but Target USMLE offers step 2 cs video tips which help you to fine tune it to the step 2 cs pattern . It helps you to do a focused physical exam within the time frame allotted amongst other things you have to do in a clinical encounter: history, counselling, transitions etc. We have put together a video tutorial for preparing effectively for the usmle step 2 cs. We know that our step 2 cs video tips will be an active learning process that will aid you during your actual exam.
Moreover the step 2 cs video tips also gives you cues to be efficient in CIS component of the exam. How to address challenging questions and handle difficult patients are also addressed in our step 2 cs video tips. Most of us are visual learners - so instead of sitting with books it is better to get insights and gain confidence by watching our usmle step 2 cs video tips and demos. There are many of our video samples posted on You Tube to help you pass step 2 cs. Please share them with your step 2 cs study partners and help others pass this exam as well.
More and more students access step 2 cs videos from our website - video tutorial program and they find them very informative and short so that they can watch it in transit or free time in between work hours (see testimonials). You will also find a study plan for step 2 cs on our website and also some video and audio tips in our free tips page. Be on the lookout for more step 2 cs video tips both on our website www.westgatesit.com and on You tube. Subscribe to our channel. Stay tuned for more cs videos. Good luck!