Men and women of all ages and ethnic groups are needed to represent the wide variety of cases that are used to simulate different patient histories, personalities and symptoms. Acting experience is not necessary but a good short-term memory is required because SPs must perform consistently within their assigned roles. They may be asked to recall 10-20 aspects of their case during their encounters with our medical students and then, immediately after, accurately respond to a survey on student performance. Since this information is often recorded electronically, basic computer skills are required. In addition, SPs need to feel comfortable in front of video cameras, since most encounters are recorded.
During an interaction with a student the SP may:
- present case history in response to questioning by the student
- undergo a limited physical examination at the student’s direction
- assist students in developing their communication and clinical skills
- prepare students in working with a diverse group of patients
- assist students in working through difficult emotional situations in a safe environment
Once ACOM faculty select cases for a training or testing event, criteria such as age, gender, race, and physical and personality characteristics are considered in the selection SPs from our registry. This carefully selected set of SPs are then presented with a patient case/script and brought into the center for training and role-playing.