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Standardized Patient Activities


Educational Activities

Standardized Patients are used in educational activities at the Anschutz Medical Campus and beyond helping learners across the continuum develop and hone specific knowledge, clinical skills and techniques, and behaviors. SPs provide a standardized learning environment to ensure that learners are receiving consistent, complete, and high quality educations. Educational activities are most often conducted in either a one-on-one or a small group setting.   

Standardized Patients also give verbal and/or written feedback to learners depending on the project goals and objectives. SPs are trained to deliver feedback in an appropriate and constructive manner. SPs must feel comfortable with the responsibility of providing feedback to learners in a constructive manner without being biased, judgmental, or unprofessional.

Assessment Activities

Standardized Patients are used in learner assessment activities. Assessment activities not only evaluate individual learner strengths and deficits, but evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum.

-Objective Structured Clinical Exercises (OSCE) are used to evaluate or assess learners on very structured and specific skills. For example, learners may complete an OSCE to evaluate a specific physical exam skill such as the heart exam, knee exam, abdominal exam, etc. OSCEs are also used to assess interviewing and communication skills or diagnostic reasoning skills. OSCE encounters typically happen one-on-one with a learner and are usually 10-30 minutes in length. SPs who participate in OSCEs usually undergo multiple training sessions to learn all the necessary aspects of the OSCE station and to reliably complete checklists online. 

-Clinical Practice Exams (CPE) are used to make a more global or general assessment of the learner’s clinical skills. CPE stations are developed to simulate as closely as possible actual clinical encounters. For example, learners may complete a CPE to assess their interviewing, physical examination, diagnostic reasoning, and bedside manner within one station. The role of the SP is to portray someone with a specific condition or problem. The learner’s role is to solve the patient’s problem as completely as possible. CPE encounters typically happen one-on-one with a learner and are usually 15-30 minutes in length. SPs who participate in CPEs usually undergo multiple training sessions to learn all the necessary aspects of the CPE station and to reliably complete checklists online.