Standardized Patients

Becoming a Standardized Patient

Standardized or Simulated Patients (SPs) are laypersons trained to portray a variety of patient scenarios for the instruction and assessment of clinical skills of medical students, residents, fellows, and other diverse professionals.

SPs receive rigorous training to learn to portray scenarios realistically and consistently. Additionally, SPs are extensively trained to score student performance on communication and physical exam maneuvers.

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SPs must be able to simultaneously observe how the student is responding to the scenario, and they must be able to recall the details of the student’s  communication skills in order to accurately score the student’s performance.

Most UVA events requiring SPs are run in the afternoons. The length of events can range from two to eight hours. SPs may be required to work several days in a row for large-scale events. The schedule for each event will be clearly defined during recruitment.

SPs will attend training sessions for events and may be asked to perform some home study. Payment for home study is included in training pay. SPs are asked to come to rehearsals ready to work “off script.”

In order to work as an SP at UVA, we ask that you fill out the application at the bottom of the page. Eligible candidates will be asked to attend a screening audition. After passing the audition, candidates will enter a pool of SPs eligible for work. SPs are selected from this pool based on the requirements of the patient scenarios within each event.

Many events will require SPs to wear a hospital gown and to undergo a physical exam performed by medical students. Physical exam maneuvers performed on SPs might include listening to the heart, feeling the abdomen, or looking in the ear. Physical exam requirements will be clearly defined during event recruitment. If you are not comfortable with undergoing a physical exam, this does not mean that you cannot work as a SP, only that you would not be used in certain patient scenarios. UVA SPs do not undergo intimate exams such as the breast or genital exam

While some events recur biweekly or monthly, most events run over the course of one to two weeks, in the afternoons. These larger-scale events occur approximately three times per year.

Many of our events are videotaped. Members of Actor’s unions (AEA, SAG) should know that there is usually no conflict with union rules, as tapes are for educational purposes only.

Note: Please read the above thoroughly. In the application form, you will be asked to certify that you have read and understand the above information.

Apply to Become a Standardized Patient
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Are you interested in becoming a Standardized patient? Please complete our online application form.

Complete Application

The Standardized Patient (SP) position is best suited for individuals that have flexibility in their schedules, as the majority of our Center’s activities occur Monday through Friday during business hours.

Applications are reviewed periodically. Employment with the Clinical Skills Center is part-time and temporary. The number of participants is variable and dependent upon the specific needs of the program. If you are interested in being a Standardized Patient, please complete the online application.