Day 2 in Atlanta was a big day! My exam didn’t start until 3pm (and went until 10pm) so I had most of the day to
flip out with anxiety get ready.
I started the morning with a 45 minute treadmill session while studying. I added in 10 minutes of sprints at the end, but mainly it was just walking while reading over things for the exam.
I also discovered that the hotel treadmills were the perfect size to use for stretching. I spent about 10 minutes stretching my legs using the treadmill and it felt glorious.
After my short workout, it was time for breakfast.
The hotel had a free buffet with tons of options. It’s not always easy to make healthy choices when you’re surrounded with donuts, bacon, and cereal, but this hotel had enough healthy stuff to make a decent meal!
I scooped myself a bowl of plain oatmeal to start. Then I added 1/2 banana chopped up, and some pomegranate arils that my mom had brought. For some protein, I took 2 hard-boiled eggs and cut up the whites. I mixed the whites into my oatmeal and I promise I couldn’t even taste them.
Not too bad!
By mid-morning, I was showered and full with breakfast, so I headed out to pick up some snacks for the exam. Since it’s an 8 hour exam, I knew I would need some snacks to eat during the breaks. I always advocate eating lots of small snacks during tests to keep your mind clear (it works for me at least). I am also a huge fan of 5 hour energy which I know is not the healthiest thing out there, but it gets me through rigorous exams!
Here are the snacks I packed for my test:
The testing facility actually provided a small meal, so I didn’t need all these snacks. But I was glad I had them!
A few hours before my exam, my mom and I went out for a nice lunch. She found this little seafood place that apparently had the best seafood in Atlanta, so we couldn’t pass it up!!
Mom ordered shrimp and lobster in a bucket- holy moly was it delicious! So fresh and sweet!!! Yum!!!
Of course she had to take pictures of it too 🙂
I opted for the crab cakes which were a little richer than I would have liked, but stuffed full of jumbo crab and delicious.
After that mega meal, I was ready for my test!!
Step 2 CS is the Clinical Skills portion of Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam. It’s an 8 hour exam that tests how you interact with patients and how well you can form a diagnosis based on taking a history and physical exam.
You get 15 minutes with a patient in an exam room. During that time, you are to take a detailed history about why the patient came to the doctor (things like abdominal pain, headache, joint pain, sleeping problems). Then, you are to perform a focused physical exam. Lastly, you are to explain to the patient what you think is going on, what tests you want to order, and why. They will always ask you questions which you are required to answer. Some of these questions are more difficult than others. Questions like, “will I ever get better?” “Can I go on my business trip tomorrow” “Do you think I have cancer?”
Lastly, you get 10 minutes to write up your history and physical exam note. You have to list 3 differential diagnoses and state what facts from the history and physical support that diagnosis. Then, you list all the tests you want to order.
And you repeat that for 12 patients.
Each student is graded on communication skills, clinical knowledge, and spoken english proficiency.
I don’t get my score back for 3 months. But, it’s just a pass/fail exam, so let’s all assume I passed okay?
And that pretty much sums up my trip to Atlanta! I would highly recommend taking your Step 2 there if you have the choice.
Now I’m back in Indiana where it’s snowing and raining and freezing cold. Boo.
Have a great day friends!!!