Medical students, attending the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, study the Art of Doctoring through the Clinical Skills Program which emphasizes the importance of communication, professionalism, history-taking, and physical examination. The Medical Partnership campus teaches clinical skills using a blend of learning activities with a focus on patient interaction.

We have ten small group classrooms designed and equipped to video record encounters between students and Standardized Patients.  Faculty monitor the sessions in real time from the viewing room and then provide feedback to the students in order to improve their communication and other skills.

What is a Standardized Patient?

A Standardized Patient is someone who has been trained to portray, in a consistent, standardized manner, a patient in a medical situation. Standardized Patients, or SP’s, will be used by the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and other institutions to teach and evaluate students. SP’s learn a case based on a real patient other than themselves and are interviewed and/or examined by students as though they were that person in the doctor’s office or clinic, giving the patient’s history and simulating their physical signs such as pain or difficulty walking.

That sounds like acting. Do I have to be an actor?

No. Some SP’s are trained and experienced actors, but most are not. You can be a very good SP without ever having been on stage or in a movie. There are some similarities to what actors do, but there are differences, too.

What types of people do you need?

We are looking for men and women of all ages, physical types, ethnic groups, and various backgrounds to represent the various types of patients they will be portraying. We need individuals who are strong communicators, who can learn quickly, accept direction, and adapt easily to a variety of different situations.

How am I trained & prepared to be a standardized patient?

Once candidates are hired, they will meet with the SP Director and the SP Coordinator for training sessions. The amount of time needed for further training will depend on the complexity of the case and the SP’s experience. Certain cases require the SP to provide feedback and/or score student performance so they will need to be trained on that as well. Before encountering students, SP’s are required to successfully present or demonstrate their character. Please note that training is mandatory; you cannot work unless you attend training.

Do I need to know a lot about medicine?

No. We will teach you what you need to know to accurately portray a case.

How often would I work and when?

That is very difficult to say. You are considered a temporary employee of the University of Georgia. You will be scheduled according to the needs of the curriculum and the case being portrayed. Initially, you might work only a few hours during the course of months. Most of the student sessions take place on weekdays, so you would have to be available during those times. There also may be some weekend or evening work. We match your abilities as closely as possible with the current projects and then match schedule needs to your availability. Please note that once you agree to work on a particular day, it is absolutely essential that you meet that work commitment.

How much does the job pay?

We will discuss pay with you if we choose to invite you to be interviewed. SP’s are paid an hourly stipend.

How do you choose who will become an SP?

We will conduct individual interviews to find out if you are suitable for the job and assess your comfort level in this environment by participating in role-play activities. We also conduct reference and background checks to see if an individual is a good fit before an offer is made. Characteristics we look for in the interview are a positive attitude due to the repeated examinations; no biases toward gender, race, religion, national origin, or physical characteristics; reliability and punctuality; someone who understands confidential matters; and someone who is comfortable with their own health and in dealing with health professionals. We are not looking for individuals who want to pursue their own agenda with doctors or the medical system.

I’m still interested. What do I do next?

Please fill out the attached document and send to Tina Powers, tepowers@uga.edu. We hire at different times depending on the needs of the program. Even if we do not use you right away, we will keep your application on file for future needs.

Download the Pre-Application

If you are interested in volunteering as a Simulated Patient Volunteer or becoming a paid Standardized Patient, please contact Tina E. Powers, Standardized Patient Program Coordinator at 706-713-2642 or email tepowers@uga.edu.

For more information about attending the Medical College of Georgia at the Medical Partnership campus

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