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March 8, 2006

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(10):1123-1124. doi:10.1001/jama.295.10.1123-a

To the Editor: The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Skills examination (CSE) assesses whether candidates have minimally acceptable information-gathering and communication skills to enter supervised postgraduate practice. In his essay in A Piece of My Mind, Mr Henry1 argues that the artificial examination setting of a CSE fails to assess tacit knowledge and suggests that standardized patients cannot fully simulate authentic physician-patient encounters.