Standardized Patients—An Integral Part of Medical Education Today

A recent article on Standardized Patient (SP) programs on the Association of American Medical Colleges website—Standardized Patients Teach Skills and Empathy—notes that SPs are now “an integral component of our medical education system” playing a role both in the training of medical students and in licensure: the clinical skills component of the USMLE involves seeing a series of SPs over several hours. Read the full article here.

While beginning medical students once gained their first clinical experiences by practicing on their fellow classmates now leading medical schools, including MUA, have established formal SP programs in which individuals recruited from the local community are trained to act as real patients, simulating a set of symptoms or problems. Ask a student at Medical University of the Americas about the most memorable experiences of their first semesters and many will point to the classes involving SPs.

The SP program at MUA takes place in the school’s clinical training facility. It typically starts with students standing at the door of an examination room and reading a brief case report identifying the SP’s name, age, gender and chief complaint and listing a set of specific tasks that must be completed, such as establishing rapport and gathering a medical history. Then, on cue, the student heads inside.

Everything about the experience is “standardized”—the SPs are specifically training to present the same symptoms to each student and the students must complete their assigned tasks within a set period of time. The sessions are captured on video. Afterwards, students write up a note detailing the visit, which is carefully scrutinized by MUA faculty. The SPs also complete an evaluation of each student.

It is important learning for MUA medical students, and will be part of the clinical skills testing that they will undertake later in their medical school training.


Get in touch for more information

Explore other categories

Latest blogs

How to Succeed in Medical School

Careers and residencies

One of the most important things you can do in medical school is to learn how to study efficiently. You will have a lot of coursework and material.

Read more
Tips for succeeding in medical school

A guide to writing a medical school personal statement

Careers and residencies

If you are like most prospective medical students, you would have spent a significant part of your life preparing to submit a personal statement.

Read more
How to write a personal statement for medical school?

How to get a successful residency match

Student life Careers and residencies

Residency placements are decided during the match process on what is referred to as ‘Match Day’ and mark an important point for every medical student

Read more
Residency Match

MUA at ICEF Dubai 2022

Business and industry insights

On Monday 7 to Thursday 10 February, MUA participated at ICEF Dubai 2022, to further elevate their commitment to growth and expansion.

Read more
MUA at ICEF Dubai 2022

What is hematology and what does a hematologist do?

Careers and residencies

Hematologists are internal medicine doctors who specialize in disorders related to blood and the lymphatic system.

Read more
What does a hematologist do?

How to become an Endocrinologist?

Careers and residencies

Endocrinology is the study of hormonal glands and the diseases and disorders that affect them.

Read more
How to become an endocrinologist?

How to become a pediatrician?

Careers and residencies

Discover pediatric medicine and how to become a pediatrician, with average salary information and how you can start your pediatric medicine journey

Read more
What is a pediatrician?

How to become a psychiatrist?

Careers and residencies

Learn about the critical role of psychiatrists, as well as how long it takes to become one and average salary data for psychiatrists in the US.

Read more
What is a psychiatrist and how do they differ from psychologists?

How to become an ER doctor

Careers and residencies

If you are thinking about a career in emergency medicine, MUA’s guide can help you make a decision.

Read more
How to become an emergency medicine doctor?

How to become a sports medicine doctor?

Careers and residencies

Sports medicine physicians treat sports related injuries in both athletes and nonathletes.

Read more
How to become a sports medicine physician?

How to prepare for your residency interview

Careers and residencies

Are you preparing for your residency interview? Read MUA’s guide on how to prepare and what questions to ask.

Read more
How to prepare for your residency interview?

What is a vascular surgeon?

Careers and residencies

If you are interested in vascular surgery and want to discover more about what a vascular surgeon does, MUA’s guide is here to answer your questions.

Read more
What is a vascular surgeon and what do they do?
Back to top