Relationships among subcomponents of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination, the Step 1, and the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Examinations

Acad Med. 2006 Oct;81(10 Suppl):S21-4. doi: 10.1097/01.ACM.0000236513.54577.b5.


Background: This research examined relationships between and among scores from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and subcomponents of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination.

Method: Correlations and failure rates were produced for first-time takers who tested during the first year of Step 2 CS Examination administration (June 2004 to July 2005).

Results: True-score correlations were high between patient note (PN) and data gathering (DG), moderate between communication and interpersonal skills and DG, and low between the remaining score pairs. There was little overlap between examinees failing Step 2 CK and the different components of Step 2 CS.

Conclusion: Results suggest that combining DG and PN scores into a single composite score is reasonable and that relatively little redundancy exists between Step 2 CK and CS scores.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Communication
  • Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Language*
  • Licensure, Medical*
  • United States