Standardized Patients

What are Standardized Patients?

Standardized Patients (SP) are healthy individuals trained to portray real patient symptoms and histories in a controlled setting.

SPs are selected based on their gender, age, and appearance to satisfy the case requirements for each session. They must memorize the scenarios of the case they are simulating, and convincingly portray a range of emotions.

All Standardized Patient sessions are currently in-person. We have strict public health protocols in place to protect our volunteers, staff, faculty, and students. Please email our Patient Program Coordinator to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do SPs differ from Volunteer Patients?

SPs are trained to play a role, whereas Volunteer Patients (VPs) participate as themselves, offering their real medical history.

What kind of cases do SPs simulate?

Cases vary depending on the complexity of symptoms and background history. Some cases test the students’ history-taking skills. In such cases, SPs will memorize all the relevant medical history of the patient they are simulating. These could vary from headache to abdominal pain to chest pain. At times, the SP will be required to portray physical symptoms during the history-taking encounter (i.e. coughing).

Other cases are designed to test the students’ skills at performing physical exams. In this case, SPs will be examined by the students, and will be trained to portray the physical findings of this patient.

How much time would I need to commit?

Usually, a couple of two-hour training sessions take place two weeks prior to simulation dates. Simulations range between 10-40 minutes, and SPs may do several simulations in one day.

How often would I be scheduled?

SPs can work as many projects as they like, depending on availability and suitability to a given role. The IMP recruits SPs depending on the requirements of the cases, which vary from year to year.

Will I get paid?

SPs will receive an honorarium for their participation. These honorariums vary depending on the type of session they participate in.

Apply to be a Standardized Patient

If you would like to apply only for a SP role, you may apply through our Standardized Patient application form.

If you would like to apply for multiple Patient Program roles, please click on the “Apply Now” button in the right-hand column.