University of Pittsburgh

Prospective Standardized Patients

"Knowledge used is better remembered.”  -Howard Barrows

Working as a Standardized Patient (SP) provides a unique opportunity to be involved in shaping the medical education of tomorrow’s physicians and health professionals.

SPs are educational resources that are used in Medical Education to help students experience firsthand the importance of connecting with patients through effective communication. 


We currently employ over 140+ SPs on a temporary, as-needed basis.  Our SPs are tasked with portraying cases that fit their feedback skills, case portrayal abilities, and demographics required for specific cases.   Some SPs are tasked with portraying cases with issues such as back pain, abdominal pain, depression, and at-risk behaviors. Other cases may include emotionally charged situations such as domestic abuse and the death of a child.


The SP Program recruits candidates based on the upcoming needs of courses and events.  Typically we recruit and hire new SPs twice per year.  Our goal is to provide learners with the opportunity to practice with SPs who accurately represent real patients; therefore, we recruit men and women of all ages, from various ethnic groups, with a wide-range of professional experience.

The skills that SP candidates should possess include:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to receive direction
  • the motivation to help learners develop interviewing techniques and interpersonal skills
  • self awareness/emotional intelligence
  • the ability to realistically role play a variety of patient "cases"


SP responsibilities include:

  • High School Degree or the equivalent (University Requirement)
  • basic computer skills such as typing and data entry required
  • reliable email access is necessary for communication and scheduling purposes
  • no specific experience level is required, yet communication and feedback skills are essential

What the Standardized Patient Program can do for you:

The SP Program offers employees:

  • competitive hourly rates, paid trainings, parking, and flexible hours
  • a central location: most events are in Oakland
  • Standardized Patients gain knowledge about the healthcare community, develop accurate and precise feedback skills, and network with other SPs in the program.
  • many of our SPs tell us they enjoy feeling as if they are giving back to the community by helping future and current healthcare professionals develop or improve upon their skills
  • personal growth through awareness and knowledge of detailed communication skills
  • all SPs have the right to say no - either for scheduling conflicts or case content reasons


To learn more about Standardized Patients and the Program, you can read our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact Adam Kukic, SP Program Administrator, at or 412-383-5893.


Pitt SP Recruitment Handout

If you are interested in submitting an application for the Standardized Patient position, please click on the following link: .  Click "Apply for this Job" and then click "Create an Account" (unless you already have an account set up in Pittsource - if that is the case, just log in and follow the instructions).


Please note that since we only hire twice per year and receive many applications, several months may pass between when you submit your application and when we next screen candidates.  We will contact you via email if we feel that you may be a good fit for our program.