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Clarification on completing the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) patient note

Posted: January 02, 2013

Changes were introduced to the Step 2 CS examination program in mid-June 2012. These included changes to the patient note that examinees must complete after each standardized patient encounter.

As described in the Step 2 CS Content Description and General Information booklet, examinees should record pertinent medical history and physical examination findings obtained during the encounter, as well as initial differential diagnoses (maximum of three). The diagnoses should be listed in order of likelihood, most likely to least likely. Examinees should also indicate the pertinent positive and negative findings obtained from the history and physical examination to support each potential diagnosis. 

To clarify previous language about USMLE expectations for examinees completing the patient note: while it is acknowledged that it is important for a physician to be able to recognize the findings that rule out certain diagnoses, the task for Step 2 CS examinees at this time is to record only the most likely diagnoses along with findings (positive and negative), that support them.

Additional information about the Step 2 CS examination, and about all USMLE examinations, is available in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.

Instructions for completing the patient note, as well as a simulation program for practicing the note, and sample patient notes, are available in the Practice Materials section of the USMLE website.


Step 2 CS Rescheduling Fees

Posted: January 06, 2015

Beginning January 1, 2015, the rescheduling fees for the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination will change. If you have a scheduled testing appointment and are unable to take the exam on your scheduled test date or at your scheduled center, you may cancel your scheduled testing appointment and reschedule for a different date and/or center, subject to availability. You may cancel and/or reschedule at any time through the end of the day before your scheduled test date. However, no canceling is allowed beginning at 12:00 AM, Eastern Time in the United States, on your scheduled test date. The date that you cancel your testing appointment will determine the amount of your rescheduling fee, as described in the list and table below. All dates and notice periods are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States. 

  • If you cancel more than 14 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will not be charged a fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel between 3 and 14 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will be charged a $400 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel 2 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will be charged a $625 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel 1 day before your scheduled test date you will be charged a $1,250 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you miss your scheduled testing appointment without canceling, you will be charged a $1,250 fee when you reschedule.

Example: Step 2 CS Rescheduling Fees

Scheduled
Test Date

Cancel Date(s)

Fee

July 15

On or before June 30

No fee

July 1 – July 12

$400

July 13

$625

July 14

$1250

If you cancel without rescheduling or miss your scheduled testing appointment, there is no guarantee that testing appointments during your eligibility period will be available when you attempt to reschedule. If you do not reschedule within your eligibility period, you must submit a new application and exam registration fee in order to take the exam.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled testing appointment, we encourage you to cancel your appointment as soon as possible, regardless of whether you are ready to reschedule. When examinees cancel more than 14 calendar days before their appointment, it is more likely that another examinee will be able to fill that testing slot. Avoiding large numbers of unfilled testing slots helps the USMLE Program manage capacity and minimize increases in the cost of the exam.


Updated abbreviation list for Step 2 CS patient notes

Posted: November 03, 2014

Examinees complete a patient note after each patient encounter in the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination. A list of common abbreviations that may be used in the notes is included in the Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet, and is posted at each computer station at all Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) test centers.

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet now includes an updated version of the abbreviation list; this version will be posted at test centers beginning November 3, 2014.

Changes to the list are minor. Examinees should be aware that this is not a complete list of all acceptable abbreviations, but rather represents the types of common abbreviations that may be used on the patient note. Patient notes are rated by licensed, board-certified physicians with experience in medical education, who will understand common medical abbreviations. However, an examinee who is in doubt about the correct abbreviation to use should write out the word or phrase.


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