Standardized Patient Program (SPP)
The UMMS Standardized Patient Program (SPP), established in 1982, trains lay people to simulate certain medical conditions in a realistic and consistent fashion. Standardized Patients (SPs) are also trained to act effectively as evaluators and teachers of medical students, physician assistant candidates, nursing students, residents, and practicing clinicians. They document an examiner's performance, and provide written and verbal feedback in a positive and non-threatening setting. The purpose can range from educational to evaluative in assessing communication and clinical competence.
The use of the UMMS SP as an evaluative and instructional tool is an integral and mandatory component in all 4 years of the medical school curriculum. For more than 25 years, UMass SPs have been respected and in demand at New England regional medical schools as skilled teachers and evaluators of the complete physical exam as well as the female breast, pelvic and male genitourinary exams. Multi-station OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations) using SPs as subjects have become the assessment instrument of choice because of the proven reliability.
SPP currently provides academic services to most New England regional medical schools, area hospitals, HMOs and academic nursing and physician assistant programs, a veterinary school, community education workshops, and CME and GME courses. SPP has also served as a pilot site for the National Board of Medical Examiners standardized patient exam, which will be a future requirement for medical licensure. SPP has brought national recognition to UMass Medical Center, and serves as a gold standard for standardized patient programs throughout the world.
Our facilities include state-of-the-art clinic rooms with closed-circuit monitoring and videotaping capability, small group/break-out session rooms, and a Clinical Skills Lab offering the student a multi-media approach for self-tutorial and remediation exercises. Additionally we collaborate for hybrid encounters with the UMMS Simulation Center.