In The Spotlight: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Center Spotlight

In the Spotlight: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Submitted By: Janice Radway

Full Center Name: Penn Med Standardized Patient Program


Center Location: Philadelphia, PA USA

Year Opened: 1997

Center Mission Statement: The mission of the Penn Med SP Program is to provide safe, measurable, authentic learning/testing experiences for trainees both in healthcare and non-healthcare professions.

Bragging Points:

  • We serve 5,000 learners a year at all levels of medical education and beyond healthcare, including human resources staff, veterinary and dental students, community health workers, and others. Programs have been growing steadily each year, as we continue to build our client base and bring in revenue to the school.
  • Other schools have adopted our homegrown SP Management System (SPMS) to save time and increase productivity.
  • We were awarded the ASPE Research Grant in 2017 for "Using SPs to Develop Judgment of Philadelphia School Leaders", which focuses on racially/culturally charged encounters.

What makes your team work well?

  • We are creative, forward-thinking problem solvers. 
  • We are passionate about SP education and wellness.
  • We embrace change – proactively soliciting input on how we can improve and putting feedback into action.
  • SPMS helps us work faster, smarter and focus on value-added tasks.
  • We employ SPs as program assistants to help us train and administer programs.
  • We make each other laugh.

Additional Information About Your Center

  • Our SP Program runs clinical exams at the health system’s Simulation Center; other classes, small group exercises and practice sessions take place in the medical school classrooms at different locations. While true dedicated SP space is limited to one control room and 12 exam rooms, we have come up with creative ways to support program growth.

Learner Groups Supported

  • Community Health Workers
  • Dental Medicine
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Medicine
  • Medical Center/Frontline staff
  • Nurses
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistants
  • Practicing Physicians
  • Residencies/GME
  • Social Work
  • Veterinary Medicine

Is there a GTA/MUTA program?

No, an outside vendor is used.

Center Name By the Numbers:

  • Classroom/Seminar Room: 12
  • Control Room: 1
  • Critical Care Room: 6
  • Exam Room: 12
  • Lounge/Kitchen/SP Staging Room: 0
  • Monitoring Room: 1
  • Do the counseling/exam Rooms have 1-way mirrors? No
  • Recording System: CAE LearningSpace
  • Employees/Staff of Center or Program (excluding SP): 4 running SP program; Sim Center is run by Health System Staff (approx. 10)
  • Staff Managing SP Program: 4
  • Number of SPs: 250
  • Total SP Hours Worked in One Year: 25,831

Please direct any questions about Penn Med SP Program to Janice Radway

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The mission of the ASPE Center Spotlight is to connect simulation centers and promote interagency and interdisciplinary collaboration in SP and simulation methodology.