Standardized Patients (SPs) are individuals trained to simulate specific medical conditions or diseases in a reliable and consistent manner. The SP is scripted so that the interactions between the SP and the learner do not vary, "standardizing" the experience for all.
Standardized Patient Assessment
The SP encounter assesses the student's ability to gather pertinent patient information, as well as the ability to communicate findings to patients. In this process, the student uses an array of professional skills and behaviors such as reasoning; verbal and nonverbal communication; listening skills; scholarship; the ability to gain needed information; physical examination skills; the ability to demonstrate compassion; empathy; and sensitivity to cultural diversity.
Encounters typically consist of 10- to 15-minute sessions where students are expected to interview patients on their chief complaint, perform a focused physical examination, answer patient questions, and explain plans for further evaluation. The students document pertinent historical and physical findings, assess the patient's problem, and describe plans for further evaluation, or complete written questions about the findings. The standardized patient and an unobtrusive observer (faculty member, another SP, or an upperclassman) grade the student's performance using standardized checklists and rating scales. This opportunity is unique in that patients seeking care for actual symptoms rarely provide feedback to their physicians.
In the future, each encounter will be monitored live through cameras and microphones located in each exam room and recorded for evaluation and feedback from a faculty member.
Kaplan Clinical Skills Center
Memphis, TN 38163
Contact: Jane Harper