Become a simulated patient

Help provide safe, practical experience

Consider becoming a simulated patient at Dalhousie’s Centre for Collaborative Clinical Learning and Research. Simulated patients are paid to provide students, residents and practicing health care professionals the opportunity to develop patient-centred communication skills, while they learn and practice other clinical and physical exam skills in a safe environment.

What is a simulated patient?

Simulated patients are:

  • trained to portray the personal history, physical symptoms, emotional characteristics and everyday concerns of an actual patient
  • trained to provide constructive feedback, from a patient’s unique perspective, to learners at all levels
  • sometimes trained as a clinical teaching associate (CTA) who can instruct physical examinations on themselves, including abdominal and muscoloskeletal (muscles, joints, etc.) exams

How can I help?

In recent years, patients admitted to hospital are more acutely ill than in the past, making it difficult for students and residents to work safely with them. With more community or home-based care, the hospital inpatient bed numbers are also reducing, providing less opportunity for students and residents to learn from patients within the clinical setting. That is why simulated patients (SPs) are becoming increasingly important to medical education.

And you can help. Whether you’re interested in participating on your own, or you’d like to work as part of a parent-child team, we’ll provide financial compensation and training for everyone involved. Simulated learning can never replace interaction with real patients, but, with your help we can provide our students and residents with more opportunities for practice, observation and feedback.

Interested in becoming a simulated patient?

First, learn more by reviewing our Simulated Patient Handbook [PDF — 341 KB].  Then, complete an application form [PDF — 289 KB]. This is not a fillable form. Please download and complete this form. It can be emailed, mailed, or faxed to our office:

The Centre for Collaborative Clinical Learning and Research
Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB)
Dalhousie University
5793 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3H 4R2
phone: 902-494-3474
fax: 902-494-3187