Course & Exam Overview

Step 2 CS or Clinical Skills is unique among the USMLE exams in that it requires the examinee to see standardized patients
(trained actors portraying real medical scenarios) as opposed to answering multiple choice clinical vignette questions.
It requires the test-taker to use medical knowledge and skills to assess standardized patients and formulate an assessment
and plan; proving the examinee’s level of understanding of clinical medicine and ability to practice basic medicine with the
accurate level of supervision. Therefore making the USMLE Step 2 CS essential to pass in order to pursue US residency.

This exam is pass or fail and is divided into 3 subcategories, including Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE),
Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), and Spoken English Proficiency (SEP).

  • Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE):
      Data gathering and data interpretation skills.
      Scored by both the standardized patient with a checklist referencing your physical exam and trained physicians
      evaluating your ability to gather history and physical information and formulate an accurate and safe assessment and plan.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS):
      Forming a trusting relationship with the patient, providing empathy, confirming patient understands the diagnosis and plan.
      Showing respect for the patient’s needs. Mutual decision-making.
      Scored by the standardized patient assessing the above aspects of a successful medical encounter.
  • Spoken English Proficiency (SEP)
      English communication skills and ability to use non-medical jargon so patient fully understands the encounter.
      Scored by the standardized patient assessing pronounciation and comprehension.
    It is important to understand the fundamentals of this exam. You will be the acting physician solely caring for the patient,
    not referring the patient to another physician. All cases are within the realm of your third year rotations: including Internal
    Medicine, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, and General Surgery. You will NOT be performing any procedures,
    but will be doing basic focused physical exams. Your role is to obtain history from the patient, perform the physical exam,
    and then complete a patient note.

    Also, the exam will be graded on following the protocols: properly addressing the patient and his/her concerns, displaying
    appropriate empathy, draping the patient during the exam encounter, handwashing, etc.

    During this course, licensed physicians will be providing you with a high-yield 2 day course reviewing everything you’ll need
    to pass this exam. We will have workshops to tackle the various components the exam requires throughout the course and then will
    provide a practice session which will mimic your exam day.


    For students / graduates of LCME-or AOA-accredited medical programs in the US or Canada:

    access Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling through NBME on NLES


    For students / graduates of medical schools located outside the US and Canada:

    access Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling through ECFMG On-line Services