Standardized Patient Program
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine's (NOSM) Standardized Patient Program (SPP) is part of the overall Simulation Health Education Program (SHEP) at the School. Within Undergraduate Medical Education (UME), Structured Clinical Skills Coordinators coordinate the use of Standardized Patients (SPs). The program has been in existence since 2005, when NOSM opened its doors.
The mission of the program is to support and deliver high quality SP programming to aid in the training and assessment of learners at various stages in their medical education. We are committed to the idea that simulation using SPs is essential to enhancing the learner’s clinical and interpersonal skills, helps deepen their awareness of patient needs, and emphasizes the importance of the human element in medical education.
A SP is a healthy person who has been carefully coached to simulate an actual patient so that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled clinician. In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings, but the emotional and personality characteristics as well. They are also trained on how to provide effective feedback to learners from a patient’s perspective.
The NOSM SP program continues to grow with over 150 active SPs between the ages of 15-85 from Sudbury and Thunder Bay. They are readily available to provide faculty and learners with opportunities to teach, assess, and learn new and refine old skills, including communication, interview, diagnostic and other clinical skills.
The SP program utilizes SPs both on and off campus for teaching, demonstration, assessment, and remediation. On campus, the SPs can be involved in the training of health-care professionals within the Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Interprofessional Education programs. External clients include the local hospitals, universities, cancer centers and other health programs.