Standardized Patient Program

The Standardized Patient Program (SPP) provides clinical skills training throughout both undergraduate and graduate medical education. The SPP supports the Stanford University School of Medicine’s commitment to produce medical professionals who apply competent and compassionate clinical skills in the care of patients and promote health care that appropriately responds to social, cultural, and health system contexts within which care is delivered.

Many aspects of the real clinical world can be evoked using specially trained actors to portray patients with particular health conditions or concerns. Because of their special training, they are referred to as Standardized Patients (SPs) and are able to give a consistent and pre-defined account of their condition and answer the full spectrum of questions about themselves as a patient from a written patient case. SPs are also trained to provide rich verbal and written feedback.

The use of SPs is a proven method for helping learners gain skills in communication, interviewing, physical exam, counseling, and patient management.


Standardized Patient Program
Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge
291 Campus Drive, LK048
Stanford, CA 94305-5134