A Standardized Patient (SP) is an individual who has been trained to consistently and accurately simulate an actual medical condition or disease, including a patient’s history, physical findings, personality and/or behavior.
SPs are trained to evaluate learners’ performance, provide feedback on professionalism, communication skills and clinical skills, which may include physical examination techniques. A standardized patient can serve as a model in some activities, and highly skilled SPs can be trained as Teaching Associates for special activities as well.
Thus, an SP can serve as a patient, teacher and evaluator and allow learners the opportunity to practice repeatedly in a safe, controlled and realistic atmosphere with nonjudgmental feedback. Educational activities involving SPs can be formatted in multiple fashions, such as one-on-one sessions, for communication skills practice or small group and large group sessions.
If you’re interested in becoming a Standardized Patient, please contact us at SPPROGRAM@sw.org for additional information.