Standardized Patients

What is a Standardized Patient (SP)?

Standardized Patients (commonly referred to as SP’s) are people that are trained to role play as patients for teaching purposes as well as for the evaluation of medical students. 

Who can be an SP?Volunteer Patient

We are looking for generally “healthy” people through the ages of 15 to 90, of any race and any gender. Although a background in acting can be helpful, it is not essential. Anyone could be an SP however, SP’s must be reliable, able to memorize case specific information and, with training, be able to portray a wide variety of emotions and sometimes physical symptoms.

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 sessions and SP role play for evaluation?

SP Role Play for Teaching SessionsVolunteer Patient

SP’s are trained to help the medical students master the communication skills necessary for successful interaction, assessment and treatment of their future patients. These role play sessions are in a small group setting and are facilitated by a physician tutor. SP’s may need to repeat these roles 2 to 3 times in a single session and these are generally done during the week and during the day.

SP Roles for Evaluation

These SP roles are used for evaluating the medical students overall level of clinical competency. This is called an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) and almost always takes place on a weekend. SP’s will role play one on one with a medical student while a physician examiner observes and assesses the student. SP’s may repeat this role up to 16 times in 10 minute increments.

Are Standardized Patients Remunerated for their Participation?

SP’s will receive $20-$25 per hour for training and simulation depending on the complexity of the case.

If you or someone you know are interested in being an SP please contact us for further information.

Katherine Dewijn
Patient Programs Supervisor