Standardized patients are essential to the education of physicians and other health care professionals. They are coached to portray a clinical scenario in a standardized manner in order to make the educational experience consistent for each learner.

Standardized patients can also be coached to provide immediate feedback, from the patient perspective, directly to the learner or to the assessor as part of the evaluation process.

By using standardized patients in these instructional settings, each situation is portrayed in a standardized manner with each student. This means "real patients" are not put at risk and the variability of interacting with real patients is removed for the learner. In this simulated setting, the student can concentrate on acquiring the necessary skills and medical knowledge prior to application with actual patients.

What we look for in prospective standardized patients

Standardized patients come from all walks of life from our community. This job is not for everyone but is the ideal part-time job for those who have flexible schedules and are interested in contributing to the educational process. Standardized patients play a promient role in shaping the next generation of physicians and other health care learners.

Acting experience is not required but excellent communication skills, reliability, ability to accept feedback, and a commitment to the program, the students and faculty, and your standardized patient peers is required.

Standardized patients should:

  • be comfortable with their health and dealing with health professionals
  • be an excellent listener
  • be reliable and punctual
  • be nonjudgmental about students and faculty gender, race, religion, national origin, physical characteristics, etc.
  • conduct themselves professionally, showing respect for all students, faculty members and staf
  • consistently portray the role or scenario, as trained by staff
  • have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • keep all information regarding the case, students and other patients confidential
  • want to contribute to the training process of excellent health care professionals
  • be willing to be videotaped for educational purposes

Apply to become a standardized patient