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Center for Experiential Learning

Quillen College of Medicine

Standardized Patient Program

What is a Standardized Patient (SP)?

A standardized patient is a person trained to portray a realistic patient, their family member or others to recreate a scenario accurately and consistently.  SPs are trained to give feedback to the students in the patient’s voice.


What does an SP do?

Standardized patients perform a wide variety of roles working with a wide range of medical professions.  These roles help students learn history taking and communication skills.  The scenarios provide a safe environment to work through emotional situations.

SPs are also trained to assist in the teaching of physical exam skills.  Everything from taking blood pressure to gynecological exams.  Working with both students and residents, the SPs are an invaluable part of their education.  Helping them hone their skills in a safe and supportive way.

Other job-related duties may be assigned.


What do we look for in an SP?

People with strong communication skills who have the ability to memorize and deliver certain roles following certain protocols.  Along with these verbal skills, the ability to use body language and emotion is a must and the ability to improvise is preferred.  Standardized Patients are people who have the ability to listen, evaluate a scenario, and give constructive feedback.  They are people who want to serve their community and who view this as a way to do that.  Standardized Patients are reliable and have flexible schedules.   ETSU would like the pool of SPs to be a diverse group, varied in age, gender, ethnicity, orientation, physical types, and socio-economic backgrounds.  This is occasional, part-time work.

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