What Kind of Doctor Am I on the Step 3 CCS Portion of the exam?

What Kind of Doctor Am I on the Step 3 CCS Portion of the exam?

What Kind of Doctor Am I on the Step 3 CCS Portion of the exam?

This is a common source of confusion about the role of the person your are “pretending” to be as the treating physician on the Step 3 portion of the CCS Cases. The answer is that you are a primary care physician “generalist.” You can treat the patient in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. You are responsible for the ordering of tests, imaging studies, diagnostic procedures, changing of clinical locations, monitoring the patient over simulated time, preparatory patient care (i.e. getting IV fluids, blood type and cross, antibiotics prior to surgery), and addressing health maintenance issues.

If you order a procedure that you are not trained for (i.e. brain surgery), the medical staff will either assist you or take primary responsibility for implementing your request. Therefore, you should not be shy about ordering surgical procedures or specialized interventions that a normal primary care provider would never do as long as it is indicated for the case.

If you’d like to try out our program, you can download two free cases here. 

How to End a Case When You Are Finished on the CCS Portion of Step 3

How to End a Case When You Are Finished on the CCS Portion of Step 3:

Many people ask why cases will end early which was a discussion in prior posts. We also get the question on how to end the case when you are finished, but there is still time left on the clock. The answer is fairly simple: Just go to the Clock which is named “Obtain Results or See Patient Later” and click “Call / see me as needed.” This will advance the clock to the end of the case. If you have pending results it will show the results and ask if you would like to stop the clock, but if you continue to say, “no” in about 2 or 3 checks, the case will go to the 2 minute warning, and you can then click “exit case.”

How to End a Case When You Are Finished

Just a quick reminder: On the real test day, this is the same for how to end a case early. You must be sure that you are completely done with the case. Once the case is ended, you cannot go back and make any changes. If you’ve advanced to the 2 minutes warning, you cannot advance the virtual clock. You can order future studies that can be used for preventive measures. You can also counsel with the patient and practice good bed-side manner. 

If you’d like to try out our program, you can download two free cases here. 

 

I am getting points taken off for not moving the patient to the right location. What’s going on!?

I am getting points taken off for not moving the patient to the right location. What’s going on!? 

 

This question has been asked by some of our users with some confusion (okay and maybe sprinkled with some accusation, condescension, and irritation). We’ve received a few comments that might go like: “How dare you take points away from me! Your software clearly had massive errors and flaws! I will hunt you down CCSCASES!” (maybe this is slightly exaggerated…emphasis on slightly).

Our test (just like the real test) will grade you not only whether you did something, but whether you did it correctly within a certain time frame. So, lets take a fictional example. Lets say a patient comes into your office with severe COPD. He is having difficulty breathing. You decide you’re hungry and want to go eat a sandwich before you see the patient. You go get a sandwich and slowly start eating it. It’s a good sandwich – Come on!

Meanwhile, the patient is dying and turning blue. You finish your sandwich; You get on the phone and call an ambulance and rush the patient to the Emergency Department. The family is livid. “No one was helping us when he was having trouble! You were eating your sandwich!” You reply, “listen, there patient. You were eventually put into the right location, so be grateful!” 

This fictional patient was put into the right location, but it was done too late. If this were in real life, you would be in trouble. If this was done on the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion, you would lose points. If you receive a negative patient update like, “The patient is having more difficulty breathing;” or “The patient is not feeling well,” and you are in the wrong location; you will lose points. So, the solution is to move the patient to the correct location BEFORE the patient worsens, then you won’t lose any points. Continuing with the fictional example, call the ambulance BEFORE you eat your sandwich and get him transferred and treated and THEN eat your sandwich. Timing matters on our program (and on the real test). So, to shorten the question, the reason you are losing points is that you need to be faster about moving the patient to the correct location. 

If you’d like to try out our program, you can download two free cases here. 

Stay safe and Study Hard! Oh, and go eat a sandwich…

Prometric to Restart Administering Tests Starting May 1st on a site-by-site basis

Prometric to restart administering tests starting May 1st on a site-by-site basis

Prometric Testing Sites Closed due to Corona Virus

The USMLE just recently announced that testing will be resuming for the USMLE at Prometric sites in the US/Canada on a site-by-site basic. There is likely to be less testing availability due to having to comply with new restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 precautions. Also, a backup from other tests that are also administered by Prometric will also cause finding a date to be more difficult than usual. However, it does appear that getting a firm date to take the USMLE Steps is available now.

There likely will be adjustments and modifications to Prometric to onsite administrative policies such as the check-in process. 

Stay safe and Study Hard!

If you’d like to try out our CCS Case Simulation product first before making a decision, try two free CCS cases located here

 

Release of Version 4.9.5

Release of Version 4.9.5

We have released a minor update. It has fixed some formatting issues that we have had. We also had some minor other fixes. 

We will continue to work hard to make improvements. Updates are free for paid customers. You can get the update by uninstalling your current version and reinstalling the new version here.

Thanks for your support. 

How Does The Time and Clock Work On Your Program?

How Does The Time and Clock Work On Your Program?

This may seem like a simple thing to the veteran CCS Students out there, but for the newly studying CCS students, learning the clock can take some time. The key students need to learn is that there are two types of clocks on the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the test: virtual time and real time. You mainly deal with virtual time. Real time is the amount of time that you are given to finish a case (either 10 min or 20 min). The only thing you need to worry about is to not run out of time. 

Virtual time is the time you tell the program to advance in the simulation (“not real time”). You could advance the simulation 10 years if you wanted (but the simulation would end before you got there). 

Here is a brief explanation of advancing the clock (same as the real test):

Virtual Time CCS Cases

The “On” option: This will advance the clock by giving an exact time you’d like to advance the clock to. If it’s Day 1 @9:00 and you want to advance the clock 30 min, then you would put Day 1 – Hour 9 – 30 min such as shown in the picture above. We feel that this is a confusing way to advance the time and recommend that you use the “In” or “With next available result” option. 

The “In” option: For this option, you simply put in how many days, hours, or minutes you’d like to advance the clock. If you wanted to advance 30 min, you just put 30 into the minute column. When you click “OK”, the virtual time will advance 30 min. If the time is Day 1 @9:00, the virtual time will advance to Day 1 @ 9:30am

The “With next available result” option: This is probably the most commonly used method to advance the clock. This will advance the clock depending on what is currently pending on your order sheet.  This will advance the clock to the order with the earliest report time. For example, if you have ordered 3 different orders: CBC – > report time in 30 min, LFTs -> report time in 60 min, and Pulse Ox -> report time in 1 min; it will advance the clock 1 min. If you had only the CBC and LFTs ordered, then it would advance the clock 30 min. If you have no orders on the order sheet, this will advance the clock to the next patient update. The only thing you have to be careful about on the real test is that if you have nothing on the order sheet or an order that you don’t realize the next report time is a day later. For example, if you had a report time of Day 2 @ 10:00 and it’s Day 1@9:30. You might mistakenly think that it’s only 30 min away, but if you advance the clock, it will advance the clock 24 hours and 30 minutes! Oops. This would likely cause you to lose a lot of points on the real test day, so be careful about that!

The “Call / see me as needed” option: This essentially will advance the clock until the case will end. You only do this if you are done ordering everything and have nothing further to do. If you have more to do with the patient, do not use this! 

We hope that this brief overview was helpful. The best way to practice this is with real simulation cases with a real program. You can try out our program by downloading the trial version here with 2 free cases. 

Thanks for reading.