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Overview of CSA exam


The Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) examination of the USMLE evaluates ones ability to gather and interpret clinical patient data and communicate effectively in the English language. CSA consists of eleven stations, ten of which are scored; in each station one will encounter a Standardized Patient (SP), a lay person trained to realistically and consistently portray a patient. The SPs will respond to questions with answers appropriate to the patient being portrayed and will react appropriately to physical maneuvers. One will be expected to proceed through each encounter with an SP as if you would with a real patient.

The CSA/CS exam assesses whether one can obtain a relevant medical history, perform a focused physical exam and compose a written record of the patient encounter. CSA requires that one demonstrate proficiency in spoken English, which will be evaluated by the Standardized Patients encountered in the test stations. The CSA exam is administered only in English.

The date of ones most recent passing performance on the CSA will appear on ones Standard ECFMG Certificate. This CSA date is valid for three years from the date passed for the purpose of entering a program of graduate medical education in the United States. If one's CSA date expires before one enters a U.S. program of graduate medical education, one must revalidate the CSA date before entering such a program. One can revalidate a CSA date by passing a subsequent CSA exam. Once one enters a program of graduate medical education in the United States, the CSA date is no longer subject to expiration, and one may request permanent validation of the CSA date.

External links

55 csa cases explained in detail and very useful. A must have for all CSA takers available from

41 csa cases explained in detail and very useful. A must have for all CSA takers available from - Free but need to register.

Official CS

Fun Tips-N-Tricks for the USMLE Step 2 CS (CSA):

Forums for CSA:

Books for CSA

Mastering the OSCE/CSA

by Jo-Ann Reteguiz, The most commonly used and deal for anyone preparing for USMLE Step 2 or ECFMG exams. Tests physical examination, communication, and diagnostic skills by working with actors posing as standardized patients

  • Presents more than 60 cases in the core areas of medicine to assess students interpersonal and physical diagnosis skills.
  • Most medical students take the OSCE and CSA exams

Nms Review for the Clinical Skills Assessment Exam

by Erich A. Arias; The Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) exam is designed to evaluate the interaction between physician and patient in a clinical setting.

A nice Overview of CSA exam:


CSA Physical Exam Videos

All physical exam movies for CSA- Bates, Wirginia, Washington, Connecticut, Schwartz, Kaplan

Physical Exam/Interviewing Videos

- from the University of Virginia at University of Virginia

Currenly available Video Titles

Upper Extremities Exam, 6 min. 7sec., 7.4 MB Shoulder Exam, 4 min. 24 sec., 6.8 MB Vital Signs, 5 min, 7 sec., 8 MB Chest Exam, 10 min. 34 sec., 16.8 MB Abdomen Exam, 9 min. 32 sec., 13.7 MB HEENT Exam, 10 min., 57 sec., 17.7 MB Lower Extremities Exam, 13 min., 21 sec., 21.1 MB Cardiac Exam, 17 min., 47 sec., 28 MB Ophthalmoscopic Exam, 12 min, 46 sec., 20 MB Neurologic Exam, 12 min, 11 sec., 19.2 MB A Basic Sexual History, 3 min, 33 sec, 8.1 MB An Interview w/Sexual Health Issues, 6 min, 44 sec, 15.6 MB

Other Links

Introduction to Radiology

University of Virginia

common USMLE step 2 CS cases

USMLE step 2 CS tips and tricks

CS case examples - 55 yr old male with right knee pain and swelling

See Also


Popular: Usmle Step 3 CCS | Usmle Step 3 CCS cases part 2 - over 70 solved cases

Asters Notes > Asters Notes I | Asters Notes II | Asters Notes III

Other resources: Usmle Q Banks | Residency Wiki

List of patient cases

CSA&CS is part of WikiMD's Physician reviewed^ articles available 4free, 4all, 4ever!
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