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What is a Simulated Participant?


Image of simulated patient with PT students


The term, Simulated Participant (SP), refers to any human role player that participates in any sort of simulation activity.

Some SPs are simulated patients.

  • Simulated Patients have been trained to portray a real patient in order to simulate a set of symptoms or problems used for healthcare education and research. 

Some SPs perform as standardized patients.

  • Standardized patients have been trained to allow each student to receive precisely the same patient experience; and are often used to assess learner’s skills in history taking, consultation, physical exams, motivational interviewing, and other clinical skills. Standardized patients differ from simulated patients in that an additional level of skill is required to accurately and consistently perform the same role over the course of multiple encounters.

Read more about learning with simulated patients at the MGH Institute.