The educational process for medical professionals is experiential learning through the interaction with Standardized Patients (SPs), Physical Exam Teaching Associates (PETAs) and Genitourinary Teaching Associates (GTAs). Because SPs are trained to mimic the realism of medical exams or tense communication scenarios, medical professionals become trained to communicate and respond better to patient needs.
At the Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Center, our SPs, PETAs and GTAs undergo a rigorous training process.
Typical Learner Interactions with a Standardized Patient:
- At our Facility, we have twelve exam rooms. Each is equipped with the medical equipment you would find in any standard exam room throughout the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
- Monitors who are trained as SPs watch through video monitors and assist in maintaining quality control
- Typically, a medical student will enter the exam room with the SP waiting, just as a doctor would enter an exam room with the patient already present.
- The exams are conducted as though they are real, and not simulations. The SPs are trained to present with a certain set of symptoms. During an interaction with the student the SP may present the case history in response to questioning by the student and undergo a physical examination at the student’s direction.
- SPs typically complete a checklist after the encounter focusing on history taking, physical exam and communication skills.
- In some formative exercises, the SP may also deliver feedback to the learner, focusing on interpersonal skills.
- After the exam, the video can be reviewed by faculty with the medical student to evaluate the interaction and give feedback about where modifications should be made in the future.