Standardized Patients

What is a Standardized Patient (SP)?

Standardized Patients (commonly referred to as SPs) are people that are trained to role play as patients, for teaching communication skills as well as for the evaluation of our medical students. 

Medical student with preceptor and standardized patient.Who can be an SP?

We are looking for individuals from all backgrounds and identities through the ages of 15 to 90. Although a background in acting can be helpful, it is not essential. Anyone could be an SP; however, you must be reliable and be able to memorize case specific information.

How much training is involved?

Training times vary and depend on the complexity of the role and the abilities of the SP selected for the role. Training can be done at any time suitable to the SP and SP Trainer.

What is the difference between SP role play for teaching communications skills and SP role play for evaluation?

SP Role Play for Teaching Communications Skills Sessions

SPs are trained to help the medical students master the communication skills necessary for successful interaction, assessment, and treatment of their future patients. These sessions are in a small group setting and are facilitated by a physician tutor. SPs may need to repeat these roles up to 3 times in a single session, for different student groups.  These sessions are generally done during the week, Tuesday through Friday, and during the day.

SP Roles for Evaluation

These SP roles are used for evaluating the medical student’s overall level of clinical competency. These evaluation exams are called, Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs), and almost always take place on a weekend. SPs will role play one on one with a medical student while a physician examiner observes and assesses the student. The role play typically involves a physical exam, history taking or counselling of a new or existing diagnosis. SPs may repeat this role up to 16 times in 10-minute increments, throughout the day.

Are Standardized Patients Remunerated for their Participation?

SPs will receive $22-$27 per hour for training and simulation, depending on the complexity of the case.

If you or someone you know are interested in being a Standardized Patient, please contact us for further information.

Katherine Dewijn
Patient Program Supervisor