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The Standardized Patient (SP) Program at Johns Hopkins originated in the Clinical Education Center (CEC) which was instituted in 1991 to serve Johns Hopkins’ medical and nursing students, as well as students from a consortium of area medical schools, by assessing their clinical and interviewing skills in exams which are administered when students complete a specific medical learning experience.

The CEC was selected by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) as a site for researching the efficacy of using Standardized Patients for licensure examinations. The CEC was also selected by the Education Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as a site for research and development of their own SP examination procedures prior to their opening facilities in Philadelphia.

More psychosocial experiences have since been added as teaching tools in response to society’s increased awareness of:

  • End of life issues in pediatric and adult medicine
  • Organ donation
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Emotional impact on caregivers
  • Discussion of life-sustaining treatments
  • Breaking bad news
  • Disclosing Medical Error

The main components of these programs are designed to develop the medical professional’s communication skills.