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Family & Community Medicine - Standardized Patient Program

Houston, Texas

The Cullen Building at Baylor College of Medicine.
Standardized Patient and Simulation Program
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Standardized Patient Program


Standardized Patients provide opportunities for students to simulate real clinical experiences.It is the standardized patient’s job to carry out an assigned simulation. In our simulations, medical students interview and/or perform physical examinations on standardized patients (SPs). We may videotape the simulations (with prior written consent of the SP) for student and/or instructor review or for use in training new standardized patients.

InterviewsStudents practice interviewing Standardized Patients

For many simulations, students conduct history-taking interviews, just as doctors take them in an initial visit. In others, the students educate standardized patients about diseases, lab tests, or treatments, and sometimes negotiate with SPs about treatment options. Usually, simulations are done on a one-to-one basis (SP and student), but occasionally an observer may be in the room.

Physical Exams

Standardized patients are trained to give students feedback on their exam skillsIn some simulations, students conduct physical examinations in order to learn the "hands-on" exam process. No physical exam is invasive, such as rectal or genital examinations, but some may include wearing a gown for heart, lung, and abdominal examinations. If a case involves a physical examination, standardized patients are informed before they are asked to attend the training session for the project.


Standardized patients receive training for all interviews and physical exams. See more information about training sessions.

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