Step 2: Clinical Skills Exam (CS) - Discontinued

The Office of Medical Education is pleased to inform you that the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has announced its decision to permanently discontinue the USMLE Step 2 CS examination.

This clinical skills examination was co-sponsored by the NBME and the FSMB. The exam required in-person attendance at a testing site and had been temporarily suspended because of Covid-19. The other exams in the USMLE sequence will be continued and include Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3. (Of note, Step 1 will begin in 2022 to report results as pass/fail.)

Implications for the University of Minnesota Medical School:

1. USMLE Step 2 CS will no longer be taken by our medical students and will not be a graduation requirement

2. USMLE Step 2 CS will no longer be a requirement for eligibility for GME program entry (pending approval by the GMEC)

3. USMLE Step 2 CS will no longer be a requirement for physician licensure in Minnesota (pending approval by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice)

4. We will continue our work on ensuring all medical students are competent in the clinical skills required to be a physician

Historically, Step 2CS was one of the two exams that comprised Step 2 of the medical boards sequence. Unlike its 2CK counterpart, 2CS was an experiential simulation of clinical contacts designed to represent essential initial encounters with patients and to assess the readiness of trainees for upcoming residency training. 

The 2CS experience of 12 total encounters was challenging but likely familiar for trainees completing the clinical training years. Step 2CS consisted of 12 clinical encounters (25 minutes each) and assessed 3 components: Communication & Interpersonal Skill (CIS) (first 15 minutes of each encounter - assessed patient-centered skills and information gathering); Integrated Clinical Evaluation (ICE) (final 10 minutes of each encounter - this was the written portion of the exam that assessed your ability to integrate and synthesize information from the encounter and devise initial impressions and plans); and, Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) (this had assessed your ability to communicate clearly with patients).