Frequently Asked Questions

Workshop for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills

Workshop and Course

How many days is the Vital Checklist Workshop?

Workshop is a 3-day workshop and we spend at least 12 hours a day in coaching. If more hours are needed depending on individual student’s constraints, we will amend accordingly.

Do you charge for any extra time spent with the students?

No! The objective is that our students are able to pass their exam in the first attempt and we really strive hard to achieve this. Your success is our reward!

How many students can enroll per workshop? Why do we limit number of students?

VCW coaches 3-5 students per workshop. Practicing with standardized patients is a key and if we enroll more number of students the individual attention diminishes, they won’t be able to focus. Our goal is to provide enough practice to students so that case taking becomes a second nature.

Can I get individual One to One Step 2 CS Training rather than group coaching?

Yes of course, One to One Coaching for USMLE Step 2 CS Exam will help you achieve more than you ever thought possible. This provides complete immersion with the standardized patients. We’ll work with you to create a curriculum tailored to your goals, learning style, and experience level. Please email us at for the details.

Why VCW record video cases of medical students?

Teaching reciprocates learning, the better we learn about students, and the better we can mend and improvise our training techniques. Our team analyses the recorded videos to find the constraints of medical students in: data gathering, integrated clinical encounter, spoken English proficiency, etc. The videos greatly help us to improve the case taking skills.

Will these videos be posted on Vital Checklist's website?

Only with your due consent! We truly honor your privacy. But most certainly, we'd like to inspire more people about what they too can achieve. The more students we get, the more would 'they' inspire us in improving our training skills. This way you’d help us to reach and help out many more medical students who seek proper guidance but may not be able to physically attend our workshop.

Location and Transport

Where is VCW conducted?

At Dr. Singh’s Residence, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Please see the directions on our contacts page

Are you close to Chicago, Detroit or New York?

Grand Rapids in Michigan is closer to Chicago and Detroit. We ares about 3 hours away from Chicago and 2 hours away from Detroit. We recommend to land in Chicago or Detroit.
Checkout the links

Can I travel by road from Detroit to Grand Rapids?

Yes! If you are landing in Detroit and would like to come to Grand Rapids via taxi, please contact A-1 Airport Cars. They offer special discounts for our students. We can book the taxi for you or you can reserve online at

What are the airport codes for Grand Rapids, Chicago and Detroit?

  • Grand Rapids > GRR
  • Chicago > ORD
  • Detroit > DTW
If you havelanded in New York, it iss best to fly from NY to Grand Rapids.

Why is VCW held at Dr.Singh’s home? Is that professional?

Absolutely, we have tried holding VCW at a conference center but have found that we waste more time in arranging stuff for the workshop. We are focused on starting meaningful discussions from the get go. Our workshops start around 8 am and we don’t stop practicing until 8 or 9pm at night. Again, practice makes perfect!
VCW is not just about Step2CS but we also help you to learn American etiquettes. Most foreign medical graduates have little or no idea of American living, therefore staying with Dr.Singh’s family will help them alleviate this initial constraint. Moreover, your parents are more relieved of your well-being in a foreign country.

Do you provide separate rooms for boys and girls?

Yes! Being an Indian father of 2 daughters, Dr.Singh completely understands the importance of cultural values. Girls and boys stay in different rooms. Privacy, safety and personal hygiene is our top priority.

Why you need to present your transcript from the medical school or any other identification paper?

Your identity proof is required by law and for verification purposes. As responsible Americans, we need to confirm your identification. If you have given any USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK, please provide the score report with your photo identification.

Does the coaching fee include cost of staying and food?

Yes! Our 3-Day coaching fee is all inclusive of staying and food.

Your cost seems to be higher than average, can I get any discounts?

VCW is all inclusive of food, staying and coaching. VCW coach a maximum of 5 students only. No discounts on said costs, as we believe this spending is an investment for your future earnings. You’ll be able to earn this much money in a day once you become a full-fledged doctor.
However, as per our social responsibility we analyze every application on individual basis and provide a personal approach to each applicant. So please email us with your specific explanation.

What type of food will be served?

We serve mostly Indian food but may vary with the student's preference. Smoking and alcohol is strictly prohibited. Please understand that you are living with a family, respect their values and privacy.

Can we stay in a hotel while attending Vital Checklist Workshop?

Yes if wish so, Holiday Inn Express offers convenient stay and discounts for our students. However we’d really like you to stay with us, save money and most importantly time as our workshops are for the entire day and may last until 9 pm. The idea of immersion coaching needs your time with us as much as possible.

Exam Related

Should I switch off the lights for fundoscopic examination?

It is always good idea to do that. Always make an effort to see retina. SP’s will know when you are making an effort and when you are faking it. If you touch switch after washing hands then make sure you wash again. Ideally, it is best to wear gloves.

Should I sit or stand while taking history?

The most important in taking history is having good eye contact. If standardized patient is portraying a case of meningitis, he/she may be in supine position. In this case it is important to sit. Never look down upon the patient.

Should I shake hands with each and every patient?

If you have right-handed person who comes with a shoulder injury, it is very important not to shake the right hand of that patient as this may cause discomfort.

When should I perform the auscultation of a patient’s abdomen?

After you have inspected the patient’s abdomen, please listen to the bowel sounds. Don’t palpate the abdomen before auscultation.

Do I need to do heart and lung examination in every patient?

Students are required to focus on clinical examination. If you have time, please do heart and lungs but if not, then keep it for the last!

If I forgot to ask a history question, can I ask it later on while examining a patient?

It is completely alright to ask a question during physical examination. Our goal at VCW is to train students with checklist so as to prevent any memory lapses.

What/Who is standardized patient?

Standardized patient is a lay person who portrays clinical scenarios for the medical students.

Are online videos and reading material enough to prepare for Step 2 CS Exam?

Videos, online study material and tutorials are a good starting point but you need to immerse yourself with clinical scenarios and for this you need practice with standardized patients as they actually assess your medical skills in the real exam.

Is it ok to practice with study partner?

It is completely ok to practice with an experienced study partner who knows about Step 2 CS.

If I fail Step 2 CS exam, will it jeopardize my chances of getting in residency?

Failing in any exam will jeopardize your chance in getting into residency; however, failing in step 2 clinical skills will have more impact as this may mean that you have poor communication skills in eyes of program director. This is of a utmost importance because of Hospital Value Based Purchasing is dependent on Total Performance Score which is sum of Clinical Process Domain Score and Patient Experience Domain Score.

Can you provide on-premise CS training for medical schools?

Yes, with pleasure! We have special 1-day or 2-day program and can conduct group classes for medical schools and physician assistant schools. To conduct a workshop for any medical / physician assistant school, email directly to

Do you offer remote online training?

Yes, if the students are not able to come for coaching, we offer online Video chat training sessions using popular services like Skype (drsinghmd), Facetime, Gtalk or any other convenient service.

Who will evaluate my exam skills in your workshop?

Standardized patients and Dr.Singh will be scoring the exam.

Can VCW help with personal statements?

We have seasoned personal statement writers who can help medical students with their personal statements. It is a three-stage process. Students will provide the rough draft. Please use personal stories for depiction. Secondly, they will have phone session with Dr.Singh or his team members. Lastly, you will answer a questionnaire. You will receive your personal statement in 15 days. We don’t recommend you to copy or plagiarize your personal statement as doing this won’t leave them ‘personal’.

Does VCW provide SP’s for practice?

No, VCW does not provide SP’s for practicing cases.

Why does Dr.Singh portray himself as a standardized patient?

To really figure out the constraints of a student, you need somebody who has real life experience with the patients. Dr.Singh is an internal medicine physician and a hospitalist and believes in quality care. He’d like to teach the same skills with which he is able to please his real patients. He has received many testimonials from his patients for providing excellent care. The only way to provide the first hand feedback to the students is by becoming a standardized patient.

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