“Standardized patients and simulation technology are a vital and growing part of Penn Medicine, providing the crucial link between the classroom and the clinic. Real patients are neither as accessible nor as willing as they were in the past to allow students to learn from them. With standardized patients, students have the opportunity to apply newly acquired skills without the fear of putting an actual patient at risk. The use of SPs is integral in helping us achieve our ongoing goal of producing world-class, patient-centered physicians.”

    - Gail Morrison, MD, Senior Vice Dean for Education, Perelman School of Medicine

What do learners say about SPs?

Why do SPs enjoy working at Penn?

Learner Feedback:

“It gave us a chance to encounter different patient experiences in a safe environment. It is really good practice for real patients.”

“Putting students in uncomfortable situations in a safe environment (e.g., discussing religion, HIV) is a great way to explore how those issues can be addressed in a clinical setting.”

“The standardized patient interviewing is the best portion of the course and the most informative. It makes me think about circumstances that I couldn't have imagined on my own.”

“Actually going through an experience like this is much better than just reading or talking about it. I thought I knew what I was going to say, but it was much harder actually getting thoughts and words out.”

“Very realistic portrayals. It was very uncomfortable, but this was not necessarily a bad thing, as these interactions will always be difficult.”

"They were realistic scenarios that I deal with on a regular basis. The SPs also pointed out some tendencies I have acquired as a resident that I wasn't aware of."

"The guidance we were given in communication - concrete and tremendously helpful advice that we can implement. The role playing was very helpful in teasing out our strengths and weaknesses." [Faculty Development]


SP Testimonials

“I believe the positive attitude of the staff fosters a positive attitude in the SPs and leads to good and effective performances.”

“Training is excellent and helps make you feel like part of a community.”

“The staff seem genuinely interested in the quality of the work and treat the SPs very well.”

“I really think it is a great program and I enjoy participating. It is interesting to see how much the program has grown in the past ten years.”

“Atmosphere of professionalism balanced with support, loyalty, and humor.”

“I really enjoy helping the students find their unique way to work with patients.”

“I like knowing that my work is helping to prepare the students to meet real patients.”

“The staff and doctors at Penn make me feel my work is appreciated.”

“I think [the Penn Med SP Program] is well run and helps the students feel more confident in their ability to deal with patients.”

“It is so obvious from the students’ responses that these programs are useful, pertinent and well-thought out. It's a pleasure to be a part of that!”

“The pay is great, and Penn is a worldwide known name.”

“It's fun! A very professional environment.”