C3NY maintains a diverse cadre of intelligent professionals who can portray anything from a 16 year old runaway, to a 45 year old man with adult onset diabetes, to a 77 year old with Alzheimer’s. They are capable of simulating not just a patient, but anyone involved in an encounter, be it doctor, nurse, therapist, administrator or family member.

SP Encounter5- Chicago - August 2014

We recruit standardized patients (SPs) from a large and talented pool of individuals in the tri-state area, most of whom have Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees, either in education, medicine, or the arts.

SP Encounter Feedback - Chicago - August 2014

The vast majority of the SPs have eight to fifteen years experience as SPs in various medical education settings. In addition a good number have extensive experience in similar programs, i.e. programs utilizing simulated encounters either in medicine, nursing, law or finance.

SPs are individually recruited for each program and case.

As appropriate, SPs may:

  • Portray a case study (i.e., 42 year old single mother, 75 year old nursing home resident, etc.)
  • Portray a family member, medical team member, or anyone involved in the encounter
  • Realistically simulate a particular pain or ailment
  • Know the difference between proper and improper physical examination maneuvers
  • Evaluate history taking skills
  • Evaluate physical examination skills
  • Evaluate communication skills
  • Give constructive oral and/or written feedback
  • Perform a standardized scenario, give standardized responses
  • Educate learners on the finer points of excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Evaluate learners in a more formal performance based assessment

SP Encounter8- Chicago - August 2014

Presently we maintain an active database of 250+ SPs, drawn from a more comprehensive and diverse database of 1600 SPs of varying sizes, ages, ethnicities and talents.

We also have the expertise to create cases, depending on the needs of our constituent programs. We work with our partners to create the necessary biographical sketches, scenarios, history, physical and communications skills checklists, and then recruit the appropriate people to embody these cases.

In addition to the standard physical cases, such as cholecystitis, migraine headache, lupus, adult onset diabetes, etc., we also develop cases in psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and the like.

The use of standardized patients in the field of medical education has risen exponentially in the past decade. The emphasis has shifted from a knowledge based curriculum to a clinical skills based curriculum. With the USMLE Step 2 CS examination, the field of standardized patients has really come into its own. The sky’s the limit for the use of standardized patients as professional medical educators.

Standardized Patients


Hello Dr. Swartz,

Yesterday I got the letter that I had passed the test. Praise the Lord! I sure am grateful. The course helped a lot and was helpful and interesting in other ways, too.

Coming from the background of having practiced quite some years and, in spite, having failed the test once, I realized I really needed help. I needed help in understanding the exam, what they were looking for, what issues were critical and also getting feedback on my ways of doing things. In addition, the fact that I have worked in a specialty setting (Neuro-oncology) with a totally different tempo, it created a need for advice. I was also aware, that when in a book it is suggested to show compassion, I do not necessarily know how to do it culturally properly.

The course was realistic, positive and hard work in a very stimulating environment. A truly unique spirit was present; all questions were answered, and you never seemed to be in a hurry. I learned to understand the setting of the test and some of the backgrounds. I learned a lot of how to analyze relating to patients and how to do it in practice. There was attention to both small details and to the big picture. The practices were most helpful, likewise the meeting with the standardized patients.

I would have no hesitation to recommend the course. Particularly for colleagues who have not practiced in the US at all, I think the course is a MUST before taking the test. I personally have benefited not only for passing the test but also for my work here at home and my future work in the US.

With best regards and thank you!

Merja Kallio, M.D.Finland