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Step 2 CK Percentiles: How to Understand & Interpret Your Score
Dr. David Delnegro by Dr. David Delnegro on Jul 27, 2021 in USMLE Step 2 CK

With USMLE Step 1 becoming pass/fail, and no matter your personal opinion of that move, it all ends up with one overarching consequence: the importance of Step 2 CK has just increased dramatically. As such, it is natural to have a lot of questions about how Step 2 CK is similar to—and different from—Step 1. First, let’s review the numbers so we can explain and demystify them.

How to Manage Anxiety and Step 2 CK Prep
Med School Tutors by Med School Tutors on Jun 29, 2021 in USMLE Step 2 CK

Woohoo! You have made it to your final year of medical school and your upcoming USMLE Step 2 CK exam. 

Five Tips to Finish Your Third Year of Med School Strong

Dr. Brian Radvansky and Dr. Shelby Wood contributed to this post. 

For many, third year is the most taxing year of medical school. Gone are the days of dragging yourself out of bed to attend early-morning classes and labs after staying up far past your bedtime to study. The time has come to step out of the lecture halls and onto the hospital wards!

It’s the year you’ve been waiting for. The year when you can pull your nose out of that stack of books and actually deliver medical care to real patients in need. The transformation that you will make as third year progresses — from novice clinician to (almost) doctor — is second only to the enormous stride you will make during intern year.

Aortic Dissection Management by Type for USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK

In a recent webinar, a student asked, "Would it be important to know the management of aortic dissection depending on the type? Type A versus Type B, etc." for USMLE Step 1 and/or USMLE Step 2 CK.

Drs. Michael Stephens and Sana Majid answer that question for you here—both in the video and the transcript below:

Mastering Mnemonics for the USMLE: AEIOU Isn’t Just for Learning Grammar

Dr. Christopher Carrubba, Dr. Brian Radvansky, and Dr. Taylor Purvis contributed to this article.

“Why is our patient on dialysis?” If I had a dollar for every medical student that asked me this question, I could definitely afford a nice meal out with my wife. I’ve found that many students have a minimal understanding of dialysis and think that its only usage is in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease—I know I certainly did once upon a time.

How to Use NBMEs to Study for Step 2 CK
Dr. Taylor Purvis by Dr. Taylor Purvis on Dec 15, 2020 in USMLE Step 2 CK, nbme

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably already made it past the first big exam hurdle in your medical school career: USMLE Step 1.

Congratulations! Your thoughts are likely now turning to Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). 

Didn't Crush USMLE Step 1? Redeem Yourself With Step 2 CK
Dr. Raymond Beyda and Mike Stephens contributed to this post. 
 
Step 2 CK: Like the round 2 to Step 1, right? If you were hoping for a higher score on Step 1, you may be dreading going through the process all over again. How and what should you change? Should you study longer? Or study differently?
 
History is not doomed to repeat itself, and even if you may have been hoping for a better score on Step 1, that should not hold you back from confidently tackling this next exam.

First, completely eliminate from your memory the adage “2 months for Step 1, 2 weeks for Step 2, and number 2 pencil for Step 3”.
 
While considerable emphasis historically has been placed on Step 1, the dynamics are changing and increasingly underscoring Step 2 CK performance. It makes sense since understanding the next step in management, for example, is far more applicable to what you will do as a resident than the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
 
This is a good thing if you are not thrilled with your Step 1 score.
 
Use this opportunity to demonstrate to admissions committees your resilience and ability to self-improve, and let us show you how.
 

Can Step 2 CK make up for a bad Step 1 score?

 
It depends. There's actually no clear-cut answer, with specialties and specific residency programs placing emphasis on Step 1 over Step 2 CK and vice versa, and there's not a real consensus across the board either.
 

If you did poorly on Step 1, can you actually improve on that score? 

Yes! 

Also, even if you did really well on Step 1, are you just gonna “go sit” for Step 2 CK and put that awesome Step 1 score at risk of being next to a mediocre Step 2 CK score? Probably not. In fact,chances are that if you did well on Step 1, you are still going to want to do well on USMLE Step 2 CK.

The Big Picture: Preparing Your Step 2 CK Strategy

Step 1 study periods are usually pretty straightforward. You finish your basic sciences coursework and your medical school, if it was anything like mine, will intimately guide you through the registration process. Our school went so far as to mandate meetings between each student and a member of the faculty to make sure we had built an appropriate study schedule heading into our six week study block. Talk about hand-holding!

The 5 Best Step 2 Resources for the ObGyn Shelf

Most students enjoy their obstetrics and gynecology rotation because it offers a unique mix of surgery, clinic, and labor and delivery wards. However, for these same reasons, the obstetrics and gynecology NBME subject exam can be challenging. The following resources can help you prepare for this exam.

The Best Step 2 Resources to Use While on Family Medicine Rotation

The family medicine rotation is a summative experience that incorporates components of outpatient medicine from many other specialties including internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. As a result, you can readily align your preparation for this clerkship and the shelf with how you would prepare for Step 2 CK. Furthermore, because this rotation often affords the ability to study during your nights and weekends, you should have plenty of time to shine on the clerkship and still rock the shelf exam and ultimately your Step 2 CK. We'll show precisely how to do so here.

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