Standardized Patients

Standardized Patients

What are Standardized Patients?

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 in communication and physical exam maneuvers.

What are characteristics of a skillful Standardized Patient?

SPs must be able to recall the details of the patient scenario and accurately relay the information to the student. They must be able to simultaneously observe how the student is responding to the scenario, in order to give accurate feedback on the student’s performance. They must be able to recall the details of the student’s behavior in order to accurately score the student’s performance. They must be able to give clear, thoughtful, and effective verbal or written feedback on the student’s communication skills and interaction style.

What are the requirements to be a UVA Standardized Patient?

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.

Would I undergo a physical exam?

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.

How often would I work?

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

Will I be videotaped?

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.

How do I apply?

Use the form below to request an application.