Originally called the Standardized Patient (SP) Program, in 2022, we changed our name to Simulated Participant Program. It is true that the initials have not changed, but the subtle difference in wording is important: over the years, we have expanded the roles our SPs embody. Patient roles are, of course, the most common, but our SPs also portray doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, parents, siblings, grandparents – in short, any role that will enrich a clinical scenario.In the SP Program, we believe there are some things only a human being can do. There will never be a simulation mannequin that can replace the visual display of human emotion—even though high-fidelity simulation is an important and growing field. As in the best theater, our SPs become the person, they don't act the role of the person. It is remarkable how suspension of disbelief occurs during human simulation. The SP Program is also a research laboratory. Our efforts in medical education research have grown steadily and we continue making contributions to the academic literature.
The SP Program is thriving, conducting over 190 educational activities annually with a troop of diverse SPs reflecting the School’s commitment to provide exposure to the population our clinicians serve. Our Program is embedded into a wide range of undergraduate and graduate medical education activities, primarily in the School of Medicine, with a strong presence in the School of Nursing. We are excited to expand the role of our SPs to simulated participants. This change represents our commitment at the YSM Teaching and Learning Center to be a leader in the world of simulation education and research.