USMLE Step 2 CS
In 2020, the USMLE suspended the in-person Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam. Under normal circumstances, students would interact with a standardized patient, then sit down at a computer and type in important history and physical exam findings, a differential diagnosis, and create a list of lab tests and management items for the patient. Students also indicated which history and physical exam findings supported each diagnosis. Every student completed multiple cases throughout the day.
Early in 2021, the USMLE made the decision to discontinue the Step 2 CS Exam as a requirement going forward. This brought mixed reviews, as do most changes, as well as concerns about potential problems.
Where we are today
The Step 2 CS is gone for the foreseeable future. Will the USMLE replace it with another type of evaluation? Circumstances can change quickly, as we have seen in the last year. With the acceleration of changes in technology, learning, and evaluation, outcomes can feel less certain.
Rigorous training and evaluation using flexible online tools can help fill this perceived gap and give instructors an assurance of their students’ successful progress in medical school. When instructors have a tool with which students can practice critical thinking skills with a variety of virtual patient cases as well as with standardized patients, they are able to provide that needed rigorous training and evaluation and give useful targeted feedback to students.
DxR Development Group has excellent time-tested software to do all of these things, including assessment of students’ personal interactions with standardized patients.
DxR’s medical school software is designed in cooperation with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and credits portions derived from the Problem Based Learning Module developed by Howard Barrows, MD.
Jeanne Ferraro, Project Director
DxR Development Group, Inc.