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.
Woohoo! You have made it to your final year of medical school and your upcoming USMLE Step 2 CK exam.
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.
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:
“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.
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).
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”.
Can Step 2 CK make up for a bad Step 1 score?
If you did poorly on Step 1, can you actually improve on that score?
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.
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!
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 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.