Standardized Patient FAQs

What is the Standardized Patient Program?

The Standardized Patient Program is a state-of-the-art training and assessment center that provides opportunities for medical students to learn and practice professional behaviors and clinical skills and to demonstrate their competencies in a simulated clinical setting.

What is a Standardized Patient (SP)?

A standardized patient (SP) is a layperson trained to portray an actual patient, presenting a faculty-defined clinical scenario with patient history and physical symptoms, for teaching and assessment purposes.

Why use SPs?

SPs can:

  • Portray patient illness in an authentic and consistent fashion
  • Give educated feedback from a patient's perspective
  • Reduce students' anxiety
  • Aid students in developing a partnership with patients
  • Accurately record data about student performance
  • Simulate over 175 illnesses
What does an SP evaluate?

SPs can measure application of clinical knowledge during student encounter that include:

  • History Taking/ Interviewing Skills
  • Communication/ Interpersonal Skills
  • Physical Examination Skills
  • Physical Exam Etiquette
  • Patient Management
What is a Standardized Patient Teaching Associate (SPTA)?

A standardized patient teaching associate (SPTA) is a person who acts as both instructor and patient, utilizing his or her own body to instruct and evaluate students in the techniques of the head-to-toe physical exam. Using SPTAs creates a non-threatening, standardized, positive encounter that prepares students for future examinations of actual patients.

What does an SPTA teach?

An SPTA can teach:

  • Basic techniques of physical exam
  • Physical exam etiquette
  • Communication skills
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Patient Education & Counseling Skills

We also have Gynecological Teaching Associates (GTAs) that teach and evaluate students in the techniques of the female breast, pelvic, and rectal exams, and male urological teaching associates (MUTAs) that teach and evaluate students in the techniques of the male genital, rectal, and prostate exams.