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Why do Students fail in USMLE step 2CS?

USMLE clinical skills exam is one of the crucial exams to get into the match. Many students go well prepared but are surprised by a fail result. Most of the American medical graduates pass this exam easily but foreign graduates have a lower pass rate. Most of the fails for foreign graduates are due to English proficiency. If fail is not due to your English skill, it will be due to communication and interpersonal skills (CIS). Here are a list of things that you should be aware of when you go to USMLE Step 2CS exam:

1) Always listen to the patient, maintain good eye contact. Try to minimize the time you spend writing and don't make it obvious. Patients hate that and so do your examiners.

2) When a patient is talking, give them the space and nod your head to show them that you are in the communication zone.

3) Panic in another one! Don't panic, you have probably seen all their cases and prepared well. There is no reason to panic. Their cases are not extraterrestrial. All the cases are easily approached and fit within 15 minutes.

4) Practice well with your colleagues or even with real patients since you are a medical student and that's what you are supposed to do. Make sure that the CS exam is not the first time you see, examine or take a history from a patient. 5) Good closure: make sure you ask your patients if they understood everything and if they have any questions. Say "this is what I think is going on and let me explain". 6) Don't tell them the diagnosis before you examine! that's a big mistake. Patients expect an examination and so do your examiners.

7) Look out for signs out there: If a patient coughs, give them a tissue and ask if they are alright. If a patient has hearing loss, expect that no one will say "come in" when you knock on the door, make sure you speak loudly and close to them. Keep an eye on those things as they are important to examiners.

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