H-E-B Clinical Skills Center

Standardized Patient Program Overview

  • A Standardized Patient (SP) is a person who has been trained to accurately portray a specific clinical condition.
  • SP’s are used to teach and assess the clinical skills of medical personnel in various training scenarios.
  • SP’s are hourly employees. Work schedules vary based on the training needs of the medical students. There are periods when SP’s work three and four times a week (normally 3 to 4 hour sessions) and then there are periods when there are no work sessions for two weeks. The average number of sessions per week ranges between two and three.
  • Because realism is so important, we must assign cases based on physical and personality characteristics. This means we often work cases where a specific age range and/or gender are required.
  • In addition, a SP may not be able to work a case because of a scar that could interfere with the realism of the scenario being portrayed (for instance a SP portraying a patient with appendicitis symptoms should not have a scar from a previous appendectomy).

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