Teaching with Standardized Patients
Enriching education and practice through experiential learning
Standardized Patients (SPs) are used in teaching communication and interpersonal skills among all levels of learners. They are carefully trained to portray a patient, client, staff member, or whatever role that best suits the educational needs of our clients.
Medical education of first year students through to residency and fellowship is enhanced by simulation in small group settings, one on one, lectures, and workshops. Learners interact with SPs, in a safe and supportive environment to explore communication techniques, history taking, and physical examination skills. The scenarios become more challenging as the students build their skills. This powerful teaching tool is enhanced by careful facilitation, feedback, and reflection.
Having the opportunity to practice cases enriches the experience of not only the student but the next patient they encounter in a health care setting. A few examples of the cases for medical students are 'taking a sexual history', 'breaking bad news' and 'cross –cultural interviewing'.