About C3NY - Cultivating Clinical Competence

Who We Are

C3NY, the Clinical Competence Center of New York, is headquartered in New York City. We are an independent educational service organization offering international medical graduates, American medical students and physicians a variety of programs using standardized patient methodology, all geared to improving excellence in the clinical competence of medical practitioners.

We are specialists in the use of standardized patients (SP’s) to portray patients and evaluate history taking, physical examination, and communication skills in medical professionals.


Step 2 CS Workshop

What We Do

Our Step 2 CS programs, including our monthly intensive three day Clinical Skills Workshop, prepare the candidate for taking the USMLE Step 2 CS examination. We provide detailed information about the Step 2CS examination focusing on history-taking skills, physical examination skills, interpersonal and communication skills, as well as writing the Patient Note. We also discuss in depth cultural diversity and the different social norms in the United States. All C3NY Workshops are held in New York City.

C3NY’s programs are developed and produced under the direction of and taught by Mark H. Swartz, M.D. and his colleagues. Dr. Swartz has been involved with SP testing for over 25 years and has taught CSA and Step 2 CS preparatory programs since 1998. We have helped more than 6,000 individuals pass Step 2CS.

C3NY also works with the regional New York City medical schools including SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and New York Medical College to produce programs to teach and assess clinical skills. In addition, we develop and produce SP programs for the students at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine.

About Step 2 CS

The USMLE Step 2 CS exam is a practical examination using standardized patients (SP’s): individuals trained to simulate the signs and symptoms of disease, and act as a real patient. The examination evaluates history taking, physical exam and communication skills.

The eight hour Step 2 CS examination, offered in five locations in the United States, consists of 11 scored SP scenarios which evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of history-taking, physical examination, and clinical and communication skills. The candidate has 15 minutes for each encounter during which time he/she will take a history, examine the patient, and counsel the “patient” as would be done in a real clinical encounter.

After the candidate leaves the room, the SP recalls the details of the session and fills out physical examination and communication checklists about the interaction. At the same time, the candidate has 10 minutes to write up the Patient Note which includes the pertinent positive and negative findings of the history and physical examination, as well as providing differential diagnoses with reasons to support these diagnoses, and a management plan. All Patient Notes are required to be entered on a computer.

The Step 2 CS examination is conducted 365 days a year at five regional Clinical Skills Evaluation Centers located in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.