Dear Dr. Swartz, Anna, and everybody at C3NY!

I PASSED! Thank you all so very much. Step 2-CS was the only USMLE that I took a preparatory course for, mainly because I did not have a slightest idea how they grade it, what to emphasize the most, and where my weaknesses were. Even though my other USMLE scores are in high 90s, I realized that there is a very good chance of me not passing this exam, because of the lack of confidence that I could pass it.

Well, you gave me just that. Barbara’s (the SP’s) feedback, was probably the most necessary and powerful tool that helped me through the day. I kept repeating to myself that Barbara said I made it extremely difficult for her to play the depression role, even though at that time I thought I was a big failure.

My first patient on the exam almost made me cry from frustration and anger at myself, but when I left his room I kept thinking: “Dr. Swartz said that you cannot tell, you will never know just what was going on in that room; it is just like a job interview. So maybe what happened was not because of me, but because of the role he played”. My next cases I approached with a lot more confidence, and that is what the SPs, and real patients are looking for in their doctor, I think…

Thank you Dr. Swartz for your willingness to share your knowledge and skills and for your dedication to teaching. It made this workshop so exceptionally helpful and unforgettable. And of course, dear Anna, there wasn’t a single thing that you have told us that wasn’t useful. The breathing technique, the clarification questions, and especially the introduction really helped me feel that I am in charge in the room.

And special gratitude from me to Barbara, the SP. Last week I had a residency interview, and if it weren’t for her feedback, I would never have lived through that one. She gave me the confidence of knowing that I appear to the interviewer like I am in charge of my emotions even when it seems everybody can hear my heart pounding.

I wish all of you, dear C3NY, many years of professional prosperity and a long productive life.

Thank you so much.

Elena Lubov, M.D.Ukraine