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Standardized Patient Program

Liberty osteopathic medical students examine a LUCOM standardized patient.

Apply to Be a Patient
The Standardized Patient Program at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) involves the training and careful selection of community members to portray medical and mental health conditions/characteristics of a real patient. This program allows the medical learner an opportunity to practice physical exam skills, history taking skills, communication skills, and other various exercises through a safe, simulated clinical environment.

Training to be a Standardized Patient

A Liberty osteopathic medical student introduces himself to a LUCOM standardized patient.A Standardized Patient (SP) is a person of any age who has been trained to portray an actual patient by accurately and consistently simulating an illness or other physical finding. Additionally, SPs are trained to provide constructive feedback to medical learners about their communication, physical, and professional skills.

Standardized Patients are often members of the community and/or local universities who enjoy working with people and are interested in making a contribution to medical education.

Selection of Standardized Patients is based on the needs of the COM’s curriculum using specific criteria based on age, gender, health status, and life experiences relating to the conditions being portrayed. Training for a case portrayal takes 2-6 hours depending on the complexity and purpose of the session with medical learners. Sessions with learners typically last 30-60 minutes and patients are asked to work daily between 2-8 hours when testing is occurring.

This contractual, per-diem, limited working agreement with Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine consists of less than 20 hours per week at maximum, does not include benefits and has no guarantee of regular hours or participation. Patients may be asked to work multiple times during the semester if they fulfill the needs of the case, the medical condition, and the testing parameters.

To be considered as a Standardized Patient, a candidate must complete a LUCOM online application and email it to Pamela Watson, assistant director for standardized patients and simulation, at pjwatson1@liberty.edu.

A Liberty osteopathic medical student performs an exam on a LUCOM standardized patient.The candidate must participate in a group interview with members of the LUCOM faculty and staff to ensure they understand the position and have the skills sought by the program and college. Standardized Patients are required to have reliable transportation and a personal email account, and must be reachable by cell phone for urgent communication.

If the applicant is selected to be a Standardized Patient, LUCOM requires a signed Consent and Non-Disclosure Agreement regarding photography, videotaping, cases, and protocols.