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Step 2 CS communication skills cases

Posted: May 11, 2017

Beginning May 21, 2017, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management. For these cases, a physical examination will not be required, and the data interpretation section of the patient note will not need to be completed.

Not all examinations will include a case designed to assess these communication skills; examinees will see a maximum of one case.


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet

Posted: May 12, 2017

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet has been updated to include information about automatic submission of the patient note as well as recent enhancements to security procedures

In addition, as previously posted, beginning May 21, 2017, examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management. For these cases, a physical examination will not be required, and the data interpretation section of the patient note will not need to be completed.

PLEASE NOTE: the start date for cases that deal with making decisions and problem management was incorrect in the initial posting of the announcement; the correct date is May 21, 2017.


Change to patient note program for the Step 2 CS exam

Posted: May 12, 2017

On or after July 16, 2017, patient notes written in the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam will automatically submit at the end of the 25 minutes allotted for each patient encounter. Examinees will no longer end the patient note by clicking “Submit.”

 Each patient encounter includes 15 minutes in the examination room, plus an additional 10 minutes to write the patient note. Examinees who leave the exam room before 15 minutes will continue to have additional time for the patient note.

A countdown clock will be visible in the upper right hand corner of the patient note program screen, showing how much time remains. An announcement will be made when two minutes remain for writing the note. The countdown clock will change to red when 30 seconds remain. At the end of 25 minutes, the note will automatically submit and examinees will not be able to continue writing.

A program for practicing writing the patient note is available. Please practice to become familiar with all the features of the program, including the countdown clock and automatic submission of the note, before taking the examination.

Examinees will not be permitted to handwrite the note unless technical difficulties on the test day make the patient note typing program unavailable. All examinees should be prepared for the possibility of having to handwrite the patient note. 


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