School of Medicine

Standardized Patient Education Programs


Simulation Lab's Use for Pre-Clerkship and Clinical Courses

The Simulation Lab is used not only for examinations for Baylor College of Medicine; it is also used for practice sessions and is used by other institutions. Some of the uses are listed below.

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations

OSCEs are used for teaching and evaluating the clinical skills of medical students before they begin their clinical rotations. The testing situation consists of a number of stations (examination rooms) where standardized patients present a variety of common, yet important patient problems. The medical students rotate through the stations at timed intervals, and the patients evaluate the students’ performance. This examination is administered to first-year students in May/June.

Clinical Performance Examinations

CPXs are used for teaching and evaluating the clinical skills of medical students. The testing situation is much like the OSCE described above. However, this examination is somewhat less lengthy and is administered to second- and third-year medical students. This exam occurs once a month on various days.

Classroom Demonstrations

These demonstrations utilize standardized patients to illustrate specific history-taking and physical examination techniques. Demonstrations may be given for groups of eight to 200 first-year students. The number of SP demonstrations varies from month to month.

Practice Sessions

Practice sessions provide students with an opportunity to practice their history-taking skills or components of the physical exam on an SP before performing them on real patients in a clinical setting. Practice sessions may be attended by individuals or small groups. The number of sessions varies from month to month. 

METI Learning Space

Download instructions on how to access your METI Learning Space account to register, check grades or review videos from Standardized Patient/Simulation encounters.


Foundational Sciences Courses


Our Patient, Physician and Society courses for first- and second-year medical students utilize the Simulation Lab and Standardized Patient Program for practice sessions, special sessions, and examinations.

During PPS 1, the first year medical students are given the opportunity to practice physical exam skills with specially trained Standardized Patients. Students complete two Mini Milestone Standardized Clinical Exams, or MMSCE, which assess students history taking, note writing and physical exam skills learned across the semester.

In the Spring during PPS 2, first year medical students have two more MMSCE experiences in Terms 3 and 4. They also have an oral presentation standardized practice session in the Simulation Lab, followed by the cumulative OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Skills Exam) in June that assesses history, physical, note writing and presentation skills learned across both semesters.

The second year medical students interact with SPs three times during their PPS 3 course. During the first encounter, "Giving Bad News", students get the opportunity to practice delivering bad news (i.e. cancer diagnosis) to an SP. The SPs are specially trained to react to the news and have specific questions to ask the "doctor" (student) about the "diagnosis".

The second encounter with SPs gives students the opportunity to practice taking a Sexual History with Standardized Patients.

The third encounter with SPs during the PPS 3 course is the Clinical Skills Exam, which takes place at the end of PPS 3. The students MUST pass this exam to move on to their clinical rotations. During this exam, the students must perform a complete history and a limited physical exam on two SPs. They are graded on the thoroughness and accuracy of their history and physical exam, as well as on their communication skills.




Many of our clerkship courses use the Simulation Lab and Standardized Patient Program for skills workshops as well as CPX examinations.

Below is a list of our clerkships that use the simulation lab for their exams and skills workshops, and their directors:

Family and Community Medicine - Dr. William Huang
Medicine - Dr. Anita Kusnoor
Neurology - Dr. Doris Kung
Ob/Gyn - Dr. Bercaw-Pratt
Pediatrics - Dr. Elaine Fielder
Psychiatry - Dr. Jin Y. Han
Surgery - Dr. Holder-Haynes