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


Dear Dr. Swartz and Ms. Lank,

Thanks to your efforts and the highly efficient workshop. I PASSED the step 2CS exam! Your workshop was one of those classes that I shall remember as a remarkable one.

I’d like to appreciate your wonderful workshop that has definitely helped me, and those whom I practiced with, understand better what’s really being tested in the Step 2CS exam; where to pay more attention and what to avoid; how the SP is evaluating us; and how to develop a strategy that leads to successful communication not just in this exam , but for our personal and profession life in the US.

C3NY has blessed me with a better understanding of the art of medicine, thank you, and I’m proud to tell you all my study partners also successfully passed the Step 2CS. It’s important to practice the major cases.

I have told my friends about your course as a guide for preparation and especially on the day of the exam I remembered your and Anna’s advice. The interaction with the Standardized Patients at the workshop was a great opportunity for me. As an IMG, I had some difficulties that could only be discovered by the personal attention that is given to each and everyone of the students on the third day of your program. The day before the last day, we could practice with each other, and it was also a very special day also of the workshop. We had study groups to practice with before taking the test, which I found to be a very useful means for consolidating the skills we had learned in the workshop. As a result, one of my best friends is planning to attend your workshop this summer.

Once again thank you.

A.A.V., M.D.Ecuador