Workshops Help Medical Students Prepare for Clinical Skills Testing

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Medical students who are reaching the end of their education as well as recent graduates must undergo a three-step testing process to receive a license to practice in the United States. The first test, known as Step 1, assesses a student's ability to apply science knowledge to the practice of medicine. Step 2 is divided into two sections, the clinical knowledge section and the clinical skills section. This step evaluates the ability of a student to put into practice knowledge and skills gained through education in treating actual patients under supervision. The final exam, Step 3, looks at a student's ability to assess and treat ambulatory patients without direct supervision.

Preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) takes time and diligent effort. Experts recommend that students who are getting ready to take the Step 2 CS (clinical science) portion of the exam review basic knowledge as well as practicing diagnostic and treatment skills since putting that knowledge into practice is the focus of the CS exam. A Step 2 CS Workshop is an excellent way to accomplish this. A good workshop will help show a medical student how to conduct a physical exam on a patient, including advice from teachers and experts on the best ways to ask and answer questions as well. The practice portions of the workshop are its most valuable components, providing students the chance to become familiar with issues and problems they might not have seen before.

The first day of an intensive three-day Clinical Skills Workshop focuses on helping students practice communication skills, a very necessary part of the doctor-patient relationship. Communications issues that arise during the initial patient interview examination are highlighted, including dealing with language difficulties and taking effective histories from patients who don't want to share. The second day of the workshop helps students focus on physical exam techniques and learning how to take the history, conduct an exam and write chart notes for a specific patient. Students also get refreshers on the proper way to use equipment such as stethoscopes, opthalmoscopes and reflex hammers. Optional intensive physical exam practice is also included. Finally, students have the chance on the third day to practice examining and taking notes on a specific patient and then receiving important feedback from the Step 2 CS workshop instructors.

Clinical Competence Center of New York, known as C3NY, provides educational and testing preparation courses for both US and international students as well as for doctors already in practice. The company offers one of the Most Trusted Step 2 CS Prep Workshops available to students. Under the leadership of Mark H. Swartz MD, the course's developer and producer and an expert in clinical skills education, students in the New York City area can participate in the Best Step 2 CS Workshop.