Standardized Patients FAQ

The Clincial Learning  Center utilizes standardized patients to help first and second-year medical students learn, practice and demonstrate physical examination skills.

If you are interested in applying for a standardized patient position, complete this online application (click on the "Click here if you are interested in joining the Standardized Patient Program").

What is a standardized patient?

Standardized/Simulated Patients (SPs) are individuals who are trained to portray a patient with a specific condition in a realistic, standardized and repeatable way (where portrayal/presentation varies based only on learner performance). SPs can be used for teaching and assessment of learners including but not limited to history/consultation, physical examination and other clinical skills in simulated clinical environments. SPs can also be used to give feedback and evaluate student performance. (Adopted from the Association of Standardized Patients). SPs may be videotaped during the session.

Who can be a standardized patient?

Men and women of all ages and ethnic groups are needed to represent the various cases and patient problems used for simulations. SPs must be of legal status to work in the U.S.

Do I need to be an actor?

No, the focus is on providing the student with an educational opportunity, not on performance or dramatic interpretation. Playing a patient case is extremely repetitive, as exactly the same simulation must be done for every student encounter in a specific session.

What makes a good standardized patient?

You will need to role play and interact with a variety of faculty, staff and students. It is important that you are comfortable with your body and letting others touch and examine you. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required. Punctuality, reliability, and flexibility are imperative.

Will I have to remove my clothing?

Standardized Patients are generally required to wear hospital gowns during the sessions. You may always wear underclothing under the gowns and if appropriate to the patient case, shorts.

What is the time commitment?

Standardized Patients are hired to portray a case which vary in duration from one to eight hours. 

How much does it pay?

Payment varies depending on the type of session.

How do I apply?

Complete the online application (click on the "Click here if you are interested in joining the Standardized Patient Program").