Standardized Patients

Standardized patients, also known as SP, are used in several ways in the education of health professionals. The role of an SP, accurately and consistently portrays the medical background, physical condition, and emotional state of a patient. 

As a Standardized Patient, you may be interviewed and/or examined by medical students, resident physicians, or other allied health students (e.g. physician assistant, nursing, etc.). Students practice effective interpersonal and examinations skills to learn how to better communicate with patients. These first experiences with standardized patients are in a safe environment, in which they can learn from.

Their role is crucial to our program’s goals to prepare our future health professionals with the clinical and communication skills necessary to provide excellent medical care. Their commitment to our center is important to our program and to our students.

What are the Standardized Patient responsibilities?

  • Attend all trainings and program sessions to which you have been assigned.
  • Always arrive at the designated time.
  • Prepare thoroughly to portray your role and symptoms as directed.
  • Provide honest and objective feedback when asked on student evaluation forms.
  • Remain in role throughout the session.

Who can be a Standardized Patient?

All members of the community – people of all demographics, ages (as young as 3 with a parent or guardian and up), physical abilities, talents, and backgrounds. We are looking for individuals with a genuine interest in helping students learn.

Helpful skills for a Standardized Patient

  • Attention to detail
  • Professionalism
  • Good memory, concentration, and staying in character
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Communication for feedback and accurately portraying the case

What is the time commitment for a Standardized Patient?

Standardized patients work on a part-time, as needed basis. Training and portrayal of cases will be performed during regular business hours, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Training will consist of 1-2 meetings, lasting 1-3 hours. Scenario portrayal will require 1-4 hours on scheduled dates. SPs will be contacted for cases and their availability 1-6 weeks prior to the performance date. On occasion, there may be an evening or weekend session.

Documents and Forms