A Simulated Patient is defined as “a person who has been carefully coached to simulate
an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled
clinician. In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient
being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings,
and the emotional and personality characteristics as well.” Learn More.
SP’s are an integral part of the learning process and assessment strategy of our school’s
educational program in areas such as: patient interview, medication history gathering,
patient counseling, point-of-care testing, basic vitals examination skills, provider
interaction and dealing with professional and ethical dilemmas, etc. Through this
program, students are provided an opportunity to demonstrate their skillsets, attitudes
and behaviors on a one-to-one basis regarding “real-life” clinical scenarios and focus
on their communication skills before beginning their professional practice. We accomplish
the majority of this through end of the year Objective Structure Clinical Examinations
(OSCEs), where SPs are utilized.
During the OSCEs, faculty, SP’s and/or other healthcare professionals observe and
evaluate how students perform specific clinical skills and behaviors. The exam usually
consists of multiple, timed “stations” that students rotate through and interact with
SPs presenting with various patient problems. There are also non-interactive stations
when SP’s are not utilized. At each station, a student is asked to perform a specific,
measurable task such as taking a patient history or counseling on a medication. SP’s
and/or faculty observers complete checklists for each observed skill/station.
Typically, an SP requires 10-12 hours of extensive training including orientation,
at home practice, and mock trial runs. Hiring wages depend on experience.
The SP program is administered through the Objective Structured Clinical Examination
(OSCE) Committee, a sub-committee of the Curriculum and Academic Policies and Evaluation
and Assessment Committee.
General availability throughout the day (2-5 hours per session)
Ability to sit through multiple encounters for up to 3 hours
Education and Experience:
High school degree or the equivalent
Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Ability to learn case scenarios, recall encounter information, and complete checklists