Standardized Patients (SPs) are persons coached to accurately portray a patient with a specific problem in a standardized way so that students seeing different SPs for this problem will receive the same information. Of course, with the student directing the interview, each encounter will vary, depending on how questions are framed. Open-ended questions may elicit more information than yes/no questions.
Our SPs are all University employees, who, in addition to receiving training to portray specific problems receive training in giving feedback, both verbal and written. They undergo the same background checks as all employees on campus. They may be retired persons, actors or anybody interested in participating in medical student education who has good communication skills, a good memory and a sense of humor.