Standardized Patients

Standardized Patients (SPs) are individuals who represent a diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and a wide range of ages. SPs are trained to consistently and accurately portray specific emotions, behaviors and disease symptoms, relay personal history and everyday concerns of patients, family members or others while interacting with students in the health care field during simulated patient encounters. These encounters are designed to enable experiential learning and assessment of students’ skills.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

SPs must be able to:

  • memorize a case script detailing specific emotions, behaviors, and disease signs/symptoms for presentation during simulated learning exercises
  • present accurate case history information in a standardized manner, as elicited by students during simulated interactive patient history and/or medical examinations
  • undergo limited physical examinations (no internal or breast exams) performed by the students
  • perform multiple encounters in succession and stay focused and consistent throughout
  • accurately remember encounters for the purpose of scoring student questions and behaviors
  • provide educationally constructive verbal and/or written feedback within a structured format, as appropriate to the event
  • participate in group training with other SPs
  • be professional in interactions with faculty, students and other SPs
  • maintain confidentiality of information related to cases, student behaviors and feedback evaluations
  • be punctual and reliable
  • be proficient with basic Zoom video functions for remote training sessions and telehealth exercises

SP work is sporadic and very part-time. Stanford SPs must be at least 18 years of age and authorized to work in the U.S.  You don’t necessarily need to be an actor but it’s important to have an interest and/or experience in teaching or coaching.  

If you are interested in becoming a standardized patient, please complete our SP Inquiry Form and upload a recent photo and resume. You will be contacted if you pass the initial screening process and we have openings available.