View Full Version : Tips

01-26-2006, 01:35 AM
Of all the exams to sweat, the CS is the least of your worries if you develope a routine.

1) Start by making your easy points early... knock, make eye contact and use their name. A handshake seals a couple of extra points there. See, 10 seconds in, and you're already in the black. Try to convince yourself that this is a real patient. Above all be as nice as you can... They grade you on a piece of paper after the test, the film is not used to grade at all. So... if you're a jerk, they might get a little forgetful. If you remind them of a nice boy/girl they know, they may stretch your history a bit.
After all, you already started on the right foot... so you're just adding points to your case with the exam.

2) The clock runs fast, so try to combine a few things.... While doing an abdominal exam talk to the patient about smoking and diet. The hand wash is a good time to lead up to that with some social questions. "So, are you married?"

3) You're not going to find anything abnormal, and the grader isn't a doctor. Go through the motions of your exam, but there's no need to really look as though you might miss a AAA. Just make sure you hit all the quadrants, move the stethscope a few times and move on. You shouldn't repeat a percussion to make sure you found the liver edge... just percuss, get that box checked, and move it!

4) When you're done, be polite and ask if there is anything else they'd like to tell you about, or if they feel you didn't cover an issue that is bothering them. I had a patient confess an allergy that I forgot to ask about. We chuckled, and it made it into my chart.... That was a big screw up, and the patient saved me because we were getting along. Act like you're enjoying yourself. I also used the shoulder pat in times when they we went over difficult material. Remember, that's what the public wants... Caring, smiles, shoulder pat... eye contact--- again, they're not doctors!

5) When you're done, LEAVE! Don't get bogged down doing useless crap that isn't indicated. If they have abdominal pain, you needn't do an eye exam because the time hasn't finished. Use that time for the written portion.

6) Now that you have an extra minute or two, go ahead and start your written part with the differential and Dx plan. If that part is correct, you're much more likely to be forgiven a scant Subj, Obj if you find that the 2 minute warning sounds and you're not done. This allowed me to write a skeleton chart out, then fill in the gaps at my leisure. I started this after I ran out of time on the 1st patient. I feel it's why I passed. I got the essentials down, and then fattened it up for good measure. I also highly rec the use of up/down arrows and shorthand for the biggies. HTN, CBC, CMP, CXR, etc... don't over do it though. Use the sheet they give you.

----beware the clock. I timed myself, and I was seeing post-op patients and writing my notes in an ave of 14 minutes on the floor. That was at the crack of dawn, and before my second coffee. When the test came, I couldn't believe how pressured I felt for time. Just be ready for that, and for the love of all that you hold dear, DO NOT PANIC. The only person I know of who failed did what I did... ran out of time on number 1. That put a bad spin on the rest of the test. Just try to enjoy it. This is a silly test... if you go in relaxed, and minimally prepared, you'll do just fine.
I find that EITHER 1st Aid for CS or UW is more than enough.

04-22-2006, 09:21 PM
BTW "CMP" might not be acceptable abbreviation rather write:
electrolytes, BUN, Cr, AST, ALT, ALK Phos, etc...

04-22-2006, 09:22 PM
not too sure, just trying to "CYA"

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