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Step 2

USMLE Step 2 is designed to assess whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for provision of patient care under supervision. US medical students typically take Step 2 during the fourth year of medical school. Step 2 is further divided into two separate exams:

Step 2 CK
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge assesses whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision and includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills that provide the foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine.

Step 2 CK is a one-day examination. It is divided into eight 60-minute blocks, administered in one 9-hour testing session. Test item formats may vary within each block. It is constructed according to an integrated content outline that organizes clinical science material along two dimensions: physician task and disease category. It includes the following subjects: internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, preventive medicine, psychiatry, surgery, other areas relevant to provision of care under supervision.

Step 2 CS
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills assesses the ability of medical school students or graduates to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision, and includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 ensures that due attention is devoted to the principles of clinical sciences and basic patient- centered skills that provide the foundation for the safe and effective practice of medicine.The exam contains the following subjects:

Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE)
Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS)
Spoken English Proficiency (SEP).[7]
Step 2 CS uses standardized patients to test medical students and graduates on their ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues. The examination is offered in five U.S. cities: Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles.

Administration of the Step 2-CS began in 2004. Prior to 2004, a similar exam, the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) was used to assess the clinical skills of foreign medical graduates.

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