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Standardized Patient Program

The UNM School of Medicine Standardized Patient (SP) Program, one of the oldest in the country, started in 1979 and has expanded across disciplines. SPs are a diverse group of individuals representing the Albuquerque community from all walks of life and ages (over 16 years old). The pool currently has 150 SPs, aged 18-86.

Students interact with SPs in a variety of learning and testing activities.  Training Specialists prepare SPs to portray patient cases for medical and other health sciences learners to practice clinical and communication skills, including: history taking, physical examination, other specialized clinical skills and patient-centered communication. SPs allow students to practice these skills in a safe, structured, faculty supervised setting before they encounter patients in a clinical environment.

What does a SP do?

  • Memorizes a patient’s character, social history, illness symptoms, and affect
  • Portrays patient cases in a standardized manner
  • Performs a patient case with students for learning and testing activities
  • Observes student performance and documents scores
  • Provides feedback

What skills are required?

  • Able to portray a patient case in standardized manner
  • Great memory
  • Desire to help clinical students learn essential patient-care skills
  • Professional, reliable, punctual

What is the time commitment, and pay?

  • On-call temporary UNM employee status
  • Intermittent assignments based on similarity with the patient case and experience
  • Starting at $11.00/hour

How do I apply?

  • Group interviews are conducted on a regular basis in order to maintain a diverse pool of SPs.
  • Apply through UNM Jobs

How do I request a SP for my program?

Contact Assessment & Learning 272-8028