Information for Interested SP Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the Standardized Patient Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

We are always looking for new people to join our team of exceptional Standardized Patients. We accept applications year-round and hold interviews about four times a year.

Please take a moment to learn more about our program using the links below:

Qualities of Penn Med SPs

The following are skills that we require of all of our SPs:

Reliability- If you agree to participate in a program, we expect you to be at all agreed upon trainings and performances on time. If you leave us in the lurch, don’t show, or cancel on us after training, we will not use you again. If you are late for performances and/or trainings, we will not use you again.

Simulation- Most cases require simulation of some sort. Simulation could be emotional, such as having to cry or get angry, or physical, such as a pain in your stomach or having to flinch when a certain area is touched. When we contact you to ask you to participate in a case, we will provide details as to what the case entails.

Feedback- Many of our programs require SPs to give verbal feedback to learners, either one-on-one or in front of a small group of students and faculty. We will train you to provide feedback in our approved format, and you will be expected to be able to provide details from the encounter to support your feedback.

Recall- Many of our cases require SPs to record the facts of each student encounter. SPs who are consistently inaccurate will not be considered for casting in future cases that require superb recall skills.

Interpersonal Skills- Our SPs include actors, students, homemakers, retirees and other various professionals—in other words, people from all walks of life. Sensitivity to each other is expected. Some programs require large numbers of SPs, with briefing and debriefing taking place in small spaces. Sometimes we have a large amount of information to digest in a short amount of time. In training we often pair SPs up to practice with each other. It is important that you are able to get along well with all different kinds of people.

Professionalism- We consider all of our SPs to be professionals, and expect professional behavior. Working in the medical school and in the clinics, we are privy to information about each other, the students, and sometimes real patients. SPs are expected to protect the privacy of their peers, the students, and patients and to show respect to all others with whom we work closely, including the staff in the clinics and the medical faculty.



We will contact you when we have a case for you. We will provide details about the case format and about training and performance times.

We offer a variety of programs, scheduled to fit the needs of the medical school curriculum.

The performances vary greatly, depending on the course. For example, some performances require a full 8-hour day of work, but only occur four times a year. Other programs require a 3- or 4-hour day for each performance, which occurs twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks.

All programs require training prior to the performance(s), and training may take anywhere from 2 to 16 hours, depending on the complexity of the program.

When we contact you about participating in a program, we ask that you call us back within 24 hours. If you are out of town or miss the message by more than 24 hours, please call us back anyway. If you do not reply, we will conclude that you are no longer available or interested in working with us.

Once we have confirmed you for a program, we expect 100% reliability. Canceling on us for any reason jeopardizes your participation in Penn Med SP Program.



Payscale- You are paid $20 per hour for both trainings and performances. Taxes are deducted before you receive your payment. You will be paid for a minimum of 2 hours of work every time you come for a training or performance.

Parking- If you park in Penn Tower or at the garage on South Street, we can provide a coupon that gets you free parking when you come to any scheduled training or performance. For trainings and performances on campus, you should park in the Penn Tower garage on Civic Center Boulevard. For performances at Penn Med at Rittenhouse, use the parking garage at 1700 South Street, on your right between 18th and 17th. Be sure to note the site scheduled for each day.

Gyms, Libraries and Transportation- When we first use you as an SP, you become a “temporary occasional” employee of the University of Pennsylvania. Once you have your ID, this entitles you to use the free recreational facilities and libraries on campus and to use the Penn Shuttle transportation and LUCY bus free of charge.

Direct deposit- Available and recommended for all our SPs. You receive your payment more quickly by using this service, especially around the holidays.

Flexible work- Working for Penn SP program won’t pay your rent, but we will give you plenty of advance notice for performances and trainings so that you can schedule other work around us.


Important Additional Info

Gowns- Some of our cases require SPs to be in hospital gowns. SPs always wear appropriate underwear and socks for warmth. Female SPs at Penn Med always wear bras. When possible, we provide you with a robe to wear, or invite you to bring your own, while you are not being examined. We train you in appropriate draping techniques so you can protect your modesty while you are being examined. If you are not comfortable appearing in a hospital gown, let us know and we will only contact you for cases that do not require wearing a gown.

Videotaping- Many of our performances are videotaped. The tapes are for review by SP trainers and faculty, sometimes used in training, and sometimes given to the students to take home.

If you are not comfortable being videotaped, let us know. This means that we will only contact you for cases that will not be videotaped. Members of actors' unions (AEA, SAG or AFTRA) should know that there is no conflict with union rules, as tapes are for educational purposes only.

Non-Invasive Exams- Our physical exams NEVER require anything any more invasive than feeling inside your mouth with a gloved finger. You will never be asked to undergo a breast, pelvic, rectal or genital exam. Things that might be done include, but are not limited to, having your eyes and ears looked in, and your heart and lungs examined via touch and via stethoscope. Again, if you are not comfortable with this, let us know. It doesn’t mean we won’t use you, it just means we won’t use you for physical exam cases.