Simulation Center Standardized Patient & Participant Program | NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine | NYU Langone Health

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Simulation Center Simulation Center Standardized Patient & Participant Program

Simulation Center Standardized Patient & Participant Program

The Standardized Patient and Participant Program at NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine welcomes individuals who want to become part of our team. Standardized patients or participants (SPs) are individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills who can help provide direct, hands-on patient care experiences. SPs enjoy a flexible work schedule and contribute to the development of healthcare professionals.

Becoming a Standardized Patient or Participant

“Real” patients come from all walks of life. In an effort to provide the most authentic experience for the student, we look for SPs who represent a range of ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, races, shapes, and sizes.

While acting experience may be helpful in the portrayal of certain scenarios, it is not mandatory. We look for candidates with the following qualifications and qualities:

  • reliable and punctual
  • good memory and recall skills
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • ability to work with others
  • commitment to the education of healthcare professionals
  • professionalism in interactions
  • ability to keep information confidential
  • willingness to learn
  • ability to easily adapt
  • positive attitude
  • no biases toward gender, race, religion, national origin, or physical characteristics
  • comfortable with physical exam simulations
  • flexible hours and schedule

Standardized Patient Responsibilities

An SP is someone who has been trained to portray, in a consistent, standardized manner, a patient in a medical situation. SPs are used by NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine to help teach and evaluate students and residents.

SPs learn a case based on a real patient other than themselves and are interviewed and/or examined by students and the medical staff as though they were that person in the doctor’s office or clinic. SPs give the patient history and simulate their physical signs such as pain or difficulty walking. Some are trained actors, but many are laypeople who are interested in this type of work.

During an encounter with a student, the SP may be required to perform the following tasks:

  • present all required history as “scripted” in the case, such as past medical history, current case history, family history, sexual history, social history, and other details
  • undergo a noninvasive physical examination performed by the student (there are no breast, pelvic, rectal, or testicular exams performed)
  • portray a character requiring support while working through a difficult emotional situation

During each session, an SP might interact with two to eight students depending on the type of exercise. Encounters usually require a physical examination by the student; however, most are noninvasive. SPs should expect to wear patient gowns and be touched during physical exams. Students are expected to treat each SP in a professional, clinical manner just as they would an actual patient.

Standardized Participant Responsibilities

A standardized participant is an individual other than the patient who is scripted in a simulation to provide realism, additional challenges, or additional information for the learner. Participants’ roles may include EMS personnel, nurses, receptionists, family members, or patient care technicians. They are provided with a script and coached in how to play the role in the context of the simulation. Although not required, a clinical background (such as EMS, RN, RT, PT, or OT) is helpful.

Contact Us

For additional information about our Standardized Patient and Participant Program, please contact Franny Bavaro, MS, standardized patient educator/coordinator, at