Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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Guide to USMLE Step 2: Clinical Skills

Step 2 CS and the OSCE often feel like the bane of your 3rd and 4th year time at Jefferson.  However, you're a Jefferson student!  You can do it!  By the end of third year, you will be well prepared for both examinations.  Moreover, the exams are PASS/FAIL.

Both exams are designed to test medical student skills in history taking, physical examination, communication, English language, and the integration of subsequent findings to formulate a differential diagnosis and plan.  The exam tests material from the core clinical clerkships of medical school -- internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and ob/gyn. The exams use standardized patients to test your knowledge of common chief complaints that may present in a variety of settings including outpatient clinic, emergency room, or physician telephone encounters.  In fact, many students say the test day feels like a day during the family medicine, outpatient sub-i, or ER rotations.

Because the OSCE is your best way to prepare for Step 2 CS, both are discussed together.  Most Jefferson students agree that the OSCE was almost identical to Step 2 in the content and format. Similarly, many students found that performing well on Jefferson’s 3rd year OSCE was a sign of preparation for the Step 2 CS exam.

Additional information about Step 2 CS can be found at:

USMLE Step 2 CS Content Description and General Information Booklet

USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Information