USMLE Step 2 assesses a candidate's patient centered skills. It specifically measures your knowledge of disease processes and your ability to apply that knowledge in clinical settings. It tests your knowledge and skill in disease prevention and disease management.
USMLE step 2 focuses on your ability to function competently as a resident physician under the supervision of an attending physician. Needless to say this necessitates an adequate and appropriate knowledge of clinical sciences. This includes Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedic surgery, some Ophthalmology, Otolarnygology, Dermatology, Radiology etc, and also Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology. You are expected to have the necessary knowledge base, and then you are expected to know how to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations that are commonly seen in an US general hospital.
The subject matter includes the following:
Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
Tumors and Neoplams
Disorders of the Immune system
Nutritional diseases and Gastroenterology
Diseases of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium
Endocrinology and Metabolic diseases
Injuries and Trauma
You are expected to know the significance of information obtained in history taking and physical examination. You are expected to know what would be most appropriate tests and investigations to order in a given clinical setting. Be aware that knowing a battery of tests is not adequate, you have to know what test would be the most appropriate and cost effective, especially given the cost constraints faced by the health sector. Given the test results you are expected to know how to use the results to decide on an appropriate and safe plan of management.
Remember, one prime purpose of the USMLE is to determine if you can be safely trusted with the health and wellbeing of the American public. To this end, the USMLE strives to make sure that you are capable of the safe practice of medicine. Ethics and hippocratic principles are considered important in the practice of medicine in the United States. You are expected to know the current standards of acceptable physician behavior and conduct when it comes to issues such as confidentiality, boundaries etc.