Standardized Patient Examination

Standardized Patient Program

The Standardized Patient Program at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) involves the training and careful selection of actors to portray medical and mental health conditions/characteristics of a real patient allowing the student-doctor 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 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 student-doctors about their professional and communication skills.

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

Selections of the Standardized Patients are based on the needs of the COMs curriculum using specific criteria based on age, gender, health status, and life experiences, which relate to the conditions being portrayed. Training for a case portrayal takes 2-6 hours depending on the complexity and purpose of the session with the medical students. Sessions with students, typically last 30-60 minutes and patients are asked to work daily between 2 and 8 hours when testing is occurring. When the curriculum is fully implemented, student-doctors will be tested on the average of 1 to 2 days each month.

To be considered as a Standardized Patient, a candidate must complete an LUCOM online application. The candidate must complete an interview with members of the LUCOM faculty and staff to ensure they understand the position requirements and have the personality, as well as, skills that are sought by the program and college. 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.

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

If interested in becoming a Standardized Patient, please communicate via email with Ms. Pamela J. Watson, Coordinator for Standardized Patients and Simulation.