Become a Standardized Patient

Participating in the University of Minnesota’s Standardized Patient Program allows individuals from the local community to partner with health sciences students, instructors, faculty, and administrators to provide important educational experiences.

Apply to be a standardized patient.

Standardized Patient Roles and Responsibilities

Standardized patients – laypersons who are trained to portray patients’ medical histories, physical findings, and emotional or behavioral characteristics - are instrumental in teaching and assessment activities involving history taking, physical exam, and patient counseling. Standardized patients also are trained to complete evaluations of learner performance and provide verbal feedback to learners.

Participants in the Standardized Patient Program may also have opportunities to contribute in other capacities, including:

  • As patient educators, using their own bodies to facilitate physical exam instruction and promote sensitivity;
  • As simulated patients, sharing their personal experiences of their own health and healthcare journeys;
  • As simulated clients, supporting the education of those who are learning how to be professionals outside the health professions (e.g, law, social work, etc.) by portraying clients’ histories, needs, and behavioral characteristics.

The Standardized Patient Program Coordinator works to match people’s skills, backgrounds, and interests with appropriate roles. Participants receive training for all assigned projects.  


We strive to create a pool of standardized patients that reflects the diversity of our community. We encourage applications from individuals of all ages, races/ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

Successful standardized patients are:

  • Committed to the education of future health professionals
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Excellent communicators with strong interpersonal skills
  • Able and willing to work cooperatively with program staff, learners, faculty and administrators
  • Flexible with scheduling and assignments (note: most simulation projects take place during traditional business hours)  

Compensation and benefits

Standardized patients are paid hourly for their work; campus parking expenses are also covered by the University. Standardized patients are categorized as independent contractors at the University of Minnesota.This means that standardized patients are not eligible to receive benefits from the university such as health insurance, vacation, and sick time. Work opportunities available for standardized patients are dependent on our clients’ needs and specifications.

Apply to be a standardized patient

We welcome you to apply to be a standardized patient. Completed applications are reviewed and kept on file, and suitable candidates are interviewed as project needs emerge.