Cough Mnemonic – USMLE Step 2 CS Mnemonics

Cough Mnemonic:

Having trouble remembering all the important questions to ask during your patient encounter? Then try this Cough Mnemonic for USMLE Step 2 CS.

Cough Mnemonic USMLE Step 2 CS Mnemonics - Medical Institution

Cough Mnemonic – BEST USMLE Step 2 CS Mnemonics – Medical Institution

Do NOT forget to:
  • Offer Cup of Water or a Tissue if the patient is coughing
  • If patient is holding a tissue make sure to ask her to show it to you to see if there is any blood.
  • Ask if tried quit smoking in past, if not educate.
NOTE: Make sure to wash your hands or wear gloves before you start physical examination. Make sure to ask for permission before you start each physical exam. Make sure to use proper draping (don’t forget to tie back patient’s gown). Make sure to explain each physical examination in layman’s term to your patient. Do NOT repeat painful maneuvers.

  • HEENT: Inspect Mouth, Throat, Lymph nodes
  • Cardiovascular exam: Auscultation
  • Pulmonary exam: Auscultation, Palpation, Percussion, Tactile fremitus
  • Abdominal exam: Auscultation, Palpation
Differential Diagnosis for Cough:
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung Cancer (with chronic history of smoking)
  • Lung abscess
  • Atypical pneumonia
  • Typical pneumonia
  • COPD exacerbation
  • Wegener granulomatosis
Diagnostic Work up for Cough:
  • PPD
  • CBC
  • Blood culture
  • Sputum gram stain, Acid Fast smear,
  • Chest X-ray
  • Chest CT
  • C-ANCA
  • Bronchoscopy, Lung biopsy


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