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Standardized Patient Program

The Standardized Patient or Simulated Patient (SP) is a person trained to take on the characteristics of a real patient, thereby affording the student an opportunity to learn in a simulated clinical environment. SP’s may also portray family members, loved ones or non-medical personnel, providing an additional layer of realism to the simulated medical event. SP’s provide feedback to the learner at the conclusion of the simulation alongside medical instructors. Learners can then take the skills acquired in the simulated setting and employ them in the clinical setting with greater confidence.

While certification and medical knowledge may be beneficial, it is not a requirement for SPs. The SP coordinator oversees SP training for all simulated scenarios, ensuring that participants are prepared. We welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds and of all ages to get involved, as this contributes to the authenticity and richness of our simulators, a level of realism that is challenging to replicate using manikins or patient simulators.

Standardized Patient Employment Opportunities

If you are interested in working as an SP, please contact our SP Coordinator, Karin Harmon ( You may send Karin Harmon your resume along with an optional cover letter to indicate your interest in the position.


  • High school diploma

Preferred Experience, Skills, and Availability

  • Experience as a standardized patient, a health professional, an instructor, or an actor
  • Excellent communication and feedback skills
  • Ability to work-in person at the Kern Medical Simulation Center
  • Reliable transportation
  • Frequent weekday daytime availability


Standardized patients are per diem employees at Kern Medical. They are scheduled only as needed for relevant events, up to 8 hours per pay period (2 weeks). Per diem employees are always asked their availability before being scheduled for an event.


Why become a Standardized Patient?

The Standardized Patient provide medical learners and healthcare professionals the unique opportunity to practice, observe, and interpret feedback in a safe environment. The SP is trained to accurately and consistently portray specific emotions, behaviors and disease symptoms.

Is being a Standardized Patient difficult?

If you want to contribute to the training process of medical students and health care professionals, this is for you.

Some of the expectations for an SP include:

  • Being comfortable dealing with health professionals and medical students

  • Excellent listening skills

  • Reliable and punctual

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Do I have to have a background in acting or healthcare?

No, the SP will be given all of the patient information needed for the role and will receive training before each encounter. A script will also be provided in order for the SP to speak or interact with the learner.

How often will I need to work?

This is a very part time job, and hours fluctuate depending on the needs of the learner. As a per diem employee of Kern Medical, SP’s are guaranteed to work a minimum of four (4) hours per pay period (every 2 weeks).

Will I be recorded, streamed, or posted to social media?

All Standardized Patient encounters are recorded for internal education and training purposes only. Photographs are occasionally posted to the hospital’s social medial website. If you do not wish for your photo to be used, please contact the Standardized Patient Coordinator.