As previously announced, a new patient note and redesigned Communication and Interpersonal Skills subcomponent will be introduced into the USMLE Step 2 CS examinations beginning June 17, 2012. Updated practice and orientation materials reflecting these changes have been posted to the USMLE website.
Examinees who plan to take the Step 2 CS examination on or after June 17, 2012 should review the updated materials, which include:
• An updated version of the CS Content Description and General Information booklet
• An updated onsite orientation CS video
• A new version of the practice patient note program
• New sample patient notes
Changes to the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet
The sections of the booklet that have been updated include:
- The Patient Encounter section (p 6) includes an updated description of the role of the examinee in the Step 2 CS examination.
- The Patient Note section (pp 8, 15-20) includes a description of the new patient note.
- The Scoring the Step 2 CS Examination section (pp 11-12) describes changes to how the Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE) and Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS) subcomponents will be scored. For the ICE subcomponent, standardized patients (SPs) will complete checklists for the physical examination portion of the patient encounter. SPs will no longer complete checklists for the history portion of the patient encounter; an examinee’s ability to gather appropriate history will continue to be assessed in the patient note. SPs assess CIS performance using a checklist based on observable behaviors; this replaces the global rating of communication skills using a series of generic rating scales.
Changes to the patient note
The new patient note provides examinees with an opportunity to document their analysis of a patient’s possible diagnoses. Samples of the new patient note and a program for practicing the patient note are available.
Changes to the Onsite Orientation for Step 2 CS video
The new version of the video includes an updated description of the patient note program.