Skip to main content

The Clinical Performance Examination (CPX) is a practical test of general clinical knowledge and consists of 12 cases representing common medical conditions and patient complaints, ranging from acute scenarios to chronic conditions and counseling cases. CPX calls on the skills that students develop throughout their clerkships in order to assess their clinical performance in a standardized setting while preparing students for the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination.

During CPX, students encounter standardized patients as the responsible, first-contact physician in a variety of clinical settings. Students are allotted 25 minutes to complete each encounter, with up to 15 minutes in the exam room with the patient and 10 minutes to complete a post-encounter note.

Students are assessed in three main areas: history taking and physical examinations; interpersonal and counseling skills; and clinical reasoning. Each of these categories is given roughly equal weighting.

For more details about CPX, please visit Information for Students using the navigation pane to the left. You may also wish to refer to the MS3 CPX slide show from the August 12 Application Phase meeting, which contains further details about CPX and Step 2 CS, including those CPX questions most frequently missed by students in the past. Other useful resources include Step 2 CS prep tips, put together by 2018 graduate and FM Resident Kyle Melvin, and this USMLE Step 2 CS orientation video.