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Standardized Patients

Become a Standardized Patient at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Are you bright, punctual, a little computer savvy and interested in role-playing and teaching medical students? If you have a flexible schedule and would like to participate in one of our projects, fill out a Standardized Patient Program Application. For additional details or to request that an application packet be mailed to you, email


To become a participate in the program, you will need to fill out an application and an SP information sheet with demographic information. Your application will be added to a database of patient roles. When there is an open case with a suitable background, we search our application pool for matches. We cannot, for instance, ask an SP who has delivered children by cesarean section to realistically play the role of a woman who has never had children. Her abdominal scars would take away from the realism of the case. All application information is kept confidential and is used only for this purpose.


The selection process may take a while, up to six months or more, depending on the program needs. Please note that, if selected, you will be considered a consultant, not an employee of OSU Center for Health Science. Therefore, you will not be eligible for medical or other benefits.


Standardized Patient Handbook


Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can be an SP? SPs should be 18 years old. There may be course-specific special request for younger SPs. SPs must be able to pass a general security background check.


What is a Standardized Patient? The "SP" is a person who has been carefully trained to simulate an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled clinician.


How are standardized patients trained? We provide the SP with a script that details all the information they will need to realistically portray an actual patient. The SPs also attend mandatory training sessions where they learn their role in more detail. There will always be staff on hand to answer any questions, should someone have a need for more detail.


Do you need any special education? No, our SPs come from various backgrounds, and we will teach you everything you need to know about your assigned role. The ability to use Virtual/Zoom meetings is key these days. SPs should be comfortable with using computers, text messaging and have an existing email account for correspondence.


What type of physical exams would an SP be required to do? The exams vary depending on the role portrayed. Cases are performed several times per day for some events. There are no invasive or uncomfortable exams performed and the SP always has on undergarments and a gown.


Can an SP pass on a role? Yes, an SP can pass on a role they do not want to portray.


How often does an SP work? We have several departments using SPs. Work can range from part of a day to several days a week and last from two to eight hours in a day.


What is the pay rate? SPs are paid $18 an hour.


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