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Becoming a Standardized Patient

Currently our Standardized Patient pool consists of approximately 300 Standardized Patients between the ages of 15-85, combined in Thunder Bay/Lakehead and Sudbury/Laurentian campuses.  We are always looking for new people to add to our pool.  If you are interested in becoming a Standardized Patient there are a few things to consider first before applying.  We are looking for people who:

  • are able to work with others
  • are observant
  • have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • are able to follow instructions
  • have accuracy in memorization of case details
  • are reliable and punctual
  • have a lack of bias towards the health care system
  • are comfortable with role playing and providing feedback in a small group setting
  • are available to work during the weekdays and have a flexible schedule

A button that reads "apply today!"

How do I apply to become a Standardized Patient?

We are always accepting applications, but the Program may not be actively hiring at the time.  The Program does the bulk of its hiring once a year in the late spring and throughout the summer in preparation for the school year in September.  There are several components to our hiring process including:

  • onsite interview
  • a mandatory bootcamp  (where we assess role-playing ability as well as communication skills)

After these have been completed, our Program Coordinators will make a final assessment of suitability before deciding who should be hired.

If you wish to become a Standardized Patient, please complete the online Standardized Patient Application Form. Once submitted, you may be contacted.  

Do I need acting experience?

No.  You can be a very good Standardized Patient without ever have acted on stage or screen.  All training is provided, however, you must be comfortable performing in front of a small group.

What types of physical examinations would be done?

They would be very common examinations similar to what you might see in a doctor’s office.  None of the examinations involve taking blood or any samples.  There is no pressure on you to participate in any physical examination if you do not wish to do so.

How often would I work?

A Standardized Patient is not guaranteed a fixed minimum or maximum number of hours. The amount of time a Standardized Patient works varies depending on what is being taught at the time.  For example we may only require female Standardized Patients age 18-35 because the students are learning about the female reproductive system.  On average a Standardized Patient will work 5 hours, or one session, every 4 to 6 weeks.  Standardized Patient participation can be more or less depending on the needs of the Program and the patient demographics required.

How much do I get paid?

Standardized Patients are paid between $19-$25/hour for their sessions.  Some physical exam sessions are paid at a higher rate.  It should be noted that Standardized Patients are not employees of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.  They are considered independent contractors and therefore are not entitled to benefits and taxes are not deducted from payments.

What else should I know about being a Standardized Patient?

Being a Standardized Patient is not easy and not for everyone.  It requires concentration while being interviewed and examined.  When the encounter is over, you must be able to remember what the student said and did to provide verbal feedback to the student based on their communication skills.

Who can I contact if I have questions about becoming a Standardized Patient?

Just give us a call and we can answer any questions you might have.

Kelly Merla
Interim Standardized Patient Program Coordinator


Thunder Bay
Erica Dzuba
Standardized Patient Program Coordinator