Step 2 CK Prep – Part 1: Dealing with CS

By Luke Murray

Step 2 CK Prep - Part 1 Dealing with CSI recently wrote about the main regret I had while studying for Step 1: Do not stress out about your study plans not going perfectly. When I took Step 2 CK near the middle of my 4th year, I walked away learning much of the same lesson (apparently, ‘relax’ is a hard one for me to learn), but there were a few other things I should have done differently as well.

Here are the first two. Both revolve around the fact that you usually have to take Step 2 CS in a similar time frame to Step 2 CK.

1. Get Step 2 CS out of the way first and early
I took CS a few weeks before I took CK. As a result, CS wasn’t that high on my priority list as far as studying goes, but it still cut into my study time for taking CK. Even the mere act of taking the test was an expensive opportunity cost.

The days in the last month leading up to taking CK are critical, and the last thing I wanted to do was to spend those days shuffling around the country. Another downside I had not considered was the mental energy and distraction of having Step 2 CS hanging over my head while prepping for Step 2 CK. Even if you’re not studying for CS, it’s there, and you at least have to deal with the hassle of making the logistical arrangements. This takes away from the quality of your CK focus and, in general, the quality of your life.

2. Actually study for Step 2 CS
A few months ago, I wrote about how I blew off studying for my class’s ACLS certification because it was supposed to be an easy test. It ended up being much harder for my class and a lot of people failed the test, including me. A couple years later, when I was on the plane getting ready to take off to Texas to take Step 2 CS, literally with my copy of First Aid for the Step 2 CS in my lap, someone on the plane went into Vfib. I, a 4th year medical student, ended up “running the code.” It was an absolute mess, and by the time EMS showed up to take the patient off the plane, she still hadn’t regained consciousness.

I went back to my seat and cried.

Even though the patient’s chance of survival was close to zero by the time I got to her, words cannot express the regret I had about not taking my ACLS skills test more seriously.

Step 2 CS has a pass rate of something like 90%+. You may hear other students say that the exam is not a big deal, nobody cares about the score, etc. While all of this may be true, your preparation for CS is about as legitimately useful as you can get. You are presented with a patient with problems and you’re asked what you think the problem(s) might be, how you would figure it out, and what you want to do about it. If that’s not the definition of a doctor’s job (regardless of specialty), then I don’t know what is.

Also, your Step 2 CS prep forces you into a clinically relevant mindset that should help with your Step 2 CK studying. And First Aid for the Step 2 CS is a fantastic resource. Use the book. Study for the test. Gain a lot from the prep. It will make you a better doctor, and if you knock the exam out sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to relax and focus on studying for Step 2 CK…or, at least, move on with your life.


6 thoughts on “Step 2 CK Prep – Part 1: Dealing with CS”

  1. Applying ice to swollen areas and taking anti-inflammatory
    medications may relieve some of the pain. If the injury is not severe,
    the recovery should be fast. Only a small percentage of the population is born with
    foot problems, the American Podiatric Medical Association believes.

  2. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  3. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to show that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most indubitably will make sure to do not omit this web site and provides it a look on a constant basis.

  4. My wife and i ended up being now delighted Peter managed to carry out his investigation with the precious recommendations he received through your weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be releasing thoughts which often a number of people have been making money from. Therefore we do understand we have the blog owner to be grateful to for this. Those illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward site menu, the relationships you will make it easier to create – it’s mostly great, and it’s assisting our son in addition to our family believe that the theme is cool, which is certainly tremendously vital. Many thanks for all!

Comments are closed.

Related Articles