When I was six, a set of strawberry hair ties foiled my endeavor for independence. My mother had a way of twisting the plastic ornaments at the end of her operation so they sat together like two friends on a bus, neat and obedient at the crown of my head. Despite my assertions, (“I can do it myself!”) I could never align their orbits.
In March 2016, six medical students at Harvard Medical School launched #endstep2cs, an initiative aimed to garner support for the termination of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) that is currently administered to medical students prior to graduation. This past week, we talked with Christopher Henderson, one of the organization founders, and Dr. Peter Katsufrakis, the senior vice president for assessment programs at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), to discuss the faults and merits of both the CS exam and the student-led initiative to end it.