Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Step II - Clinical Skills

Check. Drew completed the first part of Step Two (the clinical skills portion) Tuesday, in Chicago. For those of you taking it next year, there are only five clinical skills test locations, nationwide. The other (written) portion (clinical knowledge) of the exam can be taken at the same locations that Step One is offered. Drew will be taking that portion of the exam next Wednesday (again prayers are very much appreciated it). The clinical skills portion is pass/fail, and he feels pretty good about it, so we're hoping he passed. From my understanding he "saw" 12 different patients (15 minutes each) and then had time (10 minutes) to do write-ups on the patients.
Here was the schedule: he saw 5 patients in the morning. Then they fed them lunch over a half hour break. Then he saw 4 more patients and got a fifteen minute break and finished up with the final three patients. I think he was finished around three-ish in the afternoon.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Step II is expensive. I don't know off hand exactly how much it is (I need to have my husband look up the credit card bill, but he is too busy studying for the clinical knowledge portion of the test), but I'll be sure to post the cost in the future. We took out a special loan to pay for it, and luckily with the clinical skills portion being in Chicago we were able to save some money because he didn't have to fly and he was able to stay with his sister.

In other news my darling Drew has also started his personal statement for his residency application. This seems to be a daunting task. I had to do something similar in applying for law school and it was absolutely dreadful. Having the option to write anything is often more difficult than being assigned a topic. From what I have heard...
  1. They don't read too much into the personal statement.
  2. It is more read to make sure that you can write competently.
  3. Generally it doesn't help you but it can hurt you (meaning if it is terrible or you say the wrong thing).

Any residents, doctors or spouses want to confirm/deny any of these rumors I've heard?


Lauren said...

Hey there! I found your blog through comments on Whitney's (Glamorous life) blog, and being a med-wife myself I just had to click on your name! :) What a neat thing you're doing here. I'm sure I would have benefited from having something like this to turn to during med school! We're really involved with leadership for the Medical Campus Outreach, the student ministry for med school, and I'll be helping to lead the wives' study this year, so hopefully I'll be able to encourage some other women as well.

My hubs is now a third year pediatric resident - the end is in sight!! We have 2 children, one born between 3rd and 4th year of school, the second born during intern year. (Hopefully more to come!)

Hope you guys get back good news from CSII, and that your sweetie does well on CKII.

And you had 3 truth/rumor statements re the dreaded personal statement:

1. Depends on the program: what field of medicine and the individual hospital.

2. Mostly true.

3. I don't know whether or not it can really "help" all that much (because if you don't look good on paper, you're not going to get an interview), but I do know that it can definitely hurt you.

Best of luck - happy weekend!

Davita said...

I remember CK being around $500 and CS being $900.

Mrs. D said...

Found your blog through the Doctors Wives blog. I agree with Lauren that this is a cool project - I would have loved to have this kind of resource while my husband was in med school.

Hope the exams went/go well for your husband! And here's to an exciting match for you both!

MW said...

CS is roughly $1000, CK roughly $500. It's where our tax refund went. boo.

I'm more okay with the CS cost than the CK cost because I'm sure part of that goes to paying actors. :)

When do you get the results? 3-4 weeks?

EthidiumBromide said...

I think the importance of the personal statement depends on what field your husband plans on going into... for radiology, my husband was told that he needed a very strong personal statement. Perhaps in more competitive fields, it is just one more way to weed out applicants after board scores?

Kristen said...

My husband just started his internship and is going into radiology so it wasn't all that long ago that he was writing his personal statment. My best advice would be for your husband to put his own voice in his writing. Don't try to write what you think the selection committe and program director will want to hear. Be yourself. My husband was actually in the ophtho match and at the last minute decided to switch to radiology, so he didn't have a lot of time to stew over what he wrote. I do remember that he added a little bit of humor (still very professional, but he let his personality come through) and while he was on interviews several different program directors commented about it and said they enjoyed reading it. So at least we found out that they really read them. Good luck!