If you are interested in being a Standardized Patient, please submit an application here.
What is a Standardized Patient?
Standardized Patients (SPs) are persons who participate in mock doctor-patient encounters after being specifically trained to accurately and consistently recreate the history, personality, physical findings, and emotional structure and response pattern of an actual patient at a particular point in time.
The teaching and evaluation of clinical skills is becoming increasingly important in today’s society. Medical students must pass a national clinical skills exam (USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills) to obtain medical licensure. The Clinical Skills Center prepares our students for this exam component by utilizing Standardized Patients.
The CSEAC has an ongoing process of hiring and training a diverse and comprehensive group of Standardized Patients, encompassing all ages, races, ethnic groups, religions, genders, etc. They are paid an hourly wage, and no acting or medical experience is required. A desire to be a participant in health care education, the ability to learn to consistently simulate patient cases, and personal dependability are essential.
Each SP in the program is expected to attend a group orientation session. During orientation, all aspects of participation in the program are covered, from paperwork and payroll, to the calendar and scheduling of exams and training, to the assessment of communication skills, to the physical exam, to the cases themselves.
New SPs should expect to put in several hours of training and rehearsal prior to working with students. You will be provided with a patient scenario to study that you will work on at home to help perfect the simulation. You will need to think about the scenario and practice the specific verbal and non-verbal behaviors appropriate for the role. Training and rehearsal may also involve the following: reading and studying the case information, viewing video recordings of prior encounters, observation of others performing the role in rehearsal and/or an exam, informal role-playing with members of the Clinical Skills Center team, and formal role-playing with faculty members. The primary goal has two components: a consistent and realistic portrayal of the patient role and a consistent and accurate completion of an assessment checklist.
Training is scheduled according to SP and CSEAC availability. We strive to train in small groups whenever possible, since this is the best way to "standardize" the performance and the checklists.
Driving and parking directions to the CSEAC, located in the lower level of Prior Hall, can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I, as an SP, know what to say when the students interview me?
Will the students know I am not a real patient?
Will I have to grade the student?
What type of physical examination will be done?
Will I have to remove my clothing?
Will I need to know a lot about medicine?
Is my previous health history important?
How are Standardized Patients selected?
Do I need to be an actor?
How often would I work?
What else should I know about being Standardized Patient?