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Standardized Patient Program ~~ Patient Guidelines


The Training and Assessment of Professional Skills (TAPS) Program strives to maintain a professional atmosphere for you, the faculty, students and others who work with and visit the program.

Job Description

Standardized Patients are individuals from the community hired as independent contractors for Tulane University School of Medicine’s Training and Assessment of Professional Skills (TAPS) Standardized Patient Program.

The basic functions of Standardized Patients are to simulate medical scenarios for learners in training and/or assessment activities. These may include interviews, counseling and/or physical examinations.

All work is categorized as permanent/part-time due to the project-by-project nature of the job. SPs are entitled to receive a Tulane Splash card and a Tulane Web e-mail account. SPs are not entitled to receive health insurance or other benefits. Check the Workforce Management site for specifics.

Standardized patients report to the TAPS Program Coordinator.

Employee Status

There are many levels of Standardized Patients. Pay depends on skill, experience and invasiveness of physical exam.

  • Standardized Patient (SP): This is the starting point for all simulation-based teaching and assessment. SPs must be able to accurately portray the physical and emotional criteria of a case as well retain and assess the details of each student encounter.
  • Standardized Patient Teaching Associate (SPTA): SPTAs are SPs who have received additional training from our program trainers as well as a teaching physician. SPTAs teach physical exam skills to second-year medical students using their own bodies.
  • Male Urological Teaching Associate (MUTA): MUTAs are men who are extensively trained to teach the male genital/prostate exam to second-year medical students using their own bodies.
  • Gynecological Teaching Associate (GTA): GTAs are women who are extensively trained to teach third-year medical students the breast and pelvic exam using their own bodies.
  • Monitor/ Proctor/ Office Assistant: At times we are unable to use certain SPs due to case criteria. We may call on you to assist in other aspects of our operations.
Dress Code

SPs are expected to present a neat casual, professional image during all teaching and testing sessions. SPs should not wear halter tops or midriff baring tops, or clothing that is ripped, excessively tight, low-cut or short.

SPs should be clean and well-kept. Showers are provided. Hair should be clean and combed; nails should be clean. Please refrain from wearing heavy fragrances as some people experience respiratory irritation.

Reliability and Promptness

It is imperative that you arrive at your scheduled time. Please note that this may be 15-30 minutes prior to the actual start time of the event. You are paid for this time. You need it to change clothes and set up your room. There may also be updates or feedback we need to share with you.

If you are running late, it is your responsibility to notify a staff member as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made. Not doing so will be noted in your file. Being consistently late is grounds for dismissal.

Once you have been hired and trained as a SP, we are counting on you to fulfill your commitment to a project from start to finish. If you anticipate scheduling problems, please let us know well in advance, so we can make other arrangements. It is extremely difficult for us to hire and train someone on the midst of a project.

Once hired, you are expected to come to all teaching and assessment sessions fully prepared to perform the role you are assigned. We monitor SP performances and checklists to assure accuracy and consistency. If at any time we feel you are not performing adequately, we will attempt remediation. If problems persist, you could be terminated.


No individual student or student performance is to be discussed with anyone at any time except with a member of TAPS staff or within the parameters of a staff-supervised training session.

All sessions are digitally recorded. Any observations of SP performances during training or monitoring are confidential. Discussion of SP performances is limited to your trainer or other staff members only.

The cases and checklists used for training are the property of Tulane University School of Medicine. Bring your materials with you to each training session and event date. Upon completion of a project, these materials should be returned to the TAPS program. Do not discuss or share the content of any training materials or the details of any cases with anyone outside of the TAPS program.


Tulane University is committed to maintaining a campus environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Harassment, whether verbal, physical, written or visual, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

If you ever experience any difficulties with other SPs, students, faculty or staff, please address these concerns in detail as soon as possible to a TAPS staff member.

As an employee of Tulane University, it is your professional obligation to abide by these guidelines. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Tulane University School of Medicine maintains a drug and alcohol free workplace. It is unacceptable to use recreational drugs or alcohol prior to or during scheduled work hours. Failure to follow this policy may result in termination.

Cigarette smoking is permitted outside of the building in the designated areas.

Disciplinary Action

Tulane recognizes the need for fair and consistent application of disciplinary measures and the obligation of all employees to conform to University rules. If you should commit an offense warranting disciplinary action, we may take any of the following steps depending on the nature and seriousness of the offense:

  • Verbal Warning: For a minor offense, you may be given a verbal warning. If you do not correct the situation within a reasonable length of time, we may proceed to the next step.
  • Written Warning: A written warning may be used following a verbal warning, a repeated minor offense, or for an offense of a more serious nature. You will be asked to acknowledge receipt of the warning by signing the document.
  • Suspension: If another minor offense or a single serious violation of University rules occurs, you may suspended from work without pay.
  • Discharge: If another minor offense or single serious violation of University rules occurs, you may be discharged from the  University.

A breach of established code of conduct will be dealt with fairly but firmly under consistent standards. However, some circumstances are unique; prescribed disciplinary actions may be tempered or expanded, including immediate termination, according to the situation