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College of
Health Sciences

Standardized Patient Program at Geisinger Commonwealth

What are standardized patients?

A standardized patient (SP) is a person trained to portray a real-life patient in a standardized, scripted clinical scenario.

How do we use standardized patients?

SPs provide you the opportunity to practice your interviewing, counseling, physical exam, communication and other skills that contribute to your development as a professional in the field of medicine. SPs are trained to evaluate student performances and give formative feedback. Using SPs in the clinical skills and simulation center at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine allows you to practice in a safe, controlled, observable environment where you can develop, practice and demonstrate competence of skills you’ll use on real patients.

Why do we use standardized patients?

Research has found that these types of encounters have certain advantages that can’t be duplicated using paper problems, role-playing, questionnaires or even real patients.

  • The clinical scenario is controlled and reproducible.
  • The clinical problem is present at any time or place.
  • It provides a unique opportunity to practice various skills.
  • The SP can provide objective and unbiased feedback.

Who are the standardized patients at Geisinger Commonwealth?

SPs are people from our community. They are students, teachers, health professionals and others ranging in age from 18 to 80.

What do we do in our Standardized Patient Program?

Scripts for SP cases are curriculum-based. SPs simulate cases in a standardized or consistent way, meaning they realistically convey the same script to each student. As scripts are used, they’re analyzed on an ongoing basis for determination of reliability and validity. The goal of the SP program and the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center at Geisinger Commonwealth is to engage you in simulated SP scenarios that create learning opportunities related to creation and expansion of your medical knowledge, patient care, medical skill sets, effective interpersonal communication techniques, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice and professionalism in an environment that doesn’t put actual patients at risk.

Contact Us

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Kadedra Marzan
Standardized patient program specialist

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