Center for Experiential Learning

Standardized Patients

The Standardized Patient Program, first developed in 1999, is an integral component of the Center for Experiential Learning. The program is supported by three staff members who recruit, train and schedule a pool of approximately 150 Standardized Patients (SPs). The standardized patient pool is representative of the diverse ethnic and racial demographics of the greater community and range in age from 16-80s.

Our vision for the program is to provide a cohesive, well balanced program consisting of high quality, realistic health care training designed meet the developing needs of the all the branches of the URMC and the greater community.

Standardized patients are carefully trained to accurately, reproducibly, and realistically re-create the history, physical findings, and psychological and emotional responses of the patient in a clinical setting or situation. SPs allow learners to practice effective communication and examination techniques with real people in a safe learning environment without fatiguing actual patients. They are trained to give non-judgmental, formative feedback to the learner.

The use of standardized patients to improve communication and interpersonal skills of medical professionals is well established in helping train the next generation of care providers.