The United States Medical Licensing Examination is composed of three parts, or steps. Step 2 of the USMLE measures the candidate's ability to apply medical skills, medical knowledge, and an understanding of clinical science to patient care.
This portion of the USMLE places special emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. In order to pass Step 2 of the USMLE, the candidate will have to master those principles of clinical science and patient care that are essential to safe and competent practice as a doctor. In order to effectively assess both the intellectual and practical competence of the candidate, Step 2 includes a Clinical Knowledge (Step 2 CK) and a Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) component.
The function of the Step 2 CS exam is to determine whether the candidate has the essential clinical skills necessary to care for patients. It is composed of 12 hypothetical patient cases. The exam administrators strive to ensure that candidates see a broad spectrum of cases indicative of common and important symptoms and diagnoses. Some of the common presentation categories include: cardiovascular; gastrointestinal; constitutional; genitourinary; neurological; psychiatric; respiratory; and women's issues. For each patient, the doctor will be allotted 15 minutes for examination and 10 minutes for making notes. Any time not used for examination can be used to make notes. The Step 2 CS assesses candidates according to the following three subcomponents: Integrated Clinical Encounter; Communication and Interpersonal Skills; and Spoken English Proficiency.
The Integrated Clinical Encounter subcomponent assesses the candidate's ability to collect information about the patient through physical examination and the taking of a patient history, as well as the ability to produce documentation that effectively summarizes the clinical findings, the diagnostic impression, and the results of the initial patient encounter.
The Communication and Interpersonal Skills subcomponent assesses the candidate's ability to ask pertinent and insightful questions, ability to share information with colleagues, and general degree of professionalism and rapport with patients.
The Spoken English Proficiency subcomponent assesses the candidate's ability to language effectively when dealing with patients.
USMLE Preparation information provided by Morrison Media LLC.
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