Standardized Patient Program

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC is looking for people like you to portray patients and family members to train current and future healthcare providers for Western North Carolina.

Are you an adult between the ages of 20 and 75? Do you like to learn and use your imagination? Would you like to help improve health in Western North Carolina and earn money in the process?

If you answered YES, we encourage you to apply to participate in our Standardized Patient Program.

The Standardized Patient Program at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC provides healthcare professionals and students with uniform patient experiences so they can develop, practice, and enhance their medical interviewing skills, communication skills, and physical exam techniques. Standardized patients (SPs) enable teaching faculty to reliably measure learners' performance without putting real patients at risk.

SPs are trained to portray specific cases for which learners will do a brief medical interview and/or a focused non-invasive physical examination.

SP roles include simulating physical symptoms, exhibiting the emotions of a patient or family member, and presenting a medical history. A typical patient scenario may last from 15 to 30 minutes, after which both the learner and SP will complete computer-based assessments of the learner's performance.


  • Meet specific case criteria (i.e., demographics)
  • Ability to simulate physical symptoms and emotions of a patient or
    family member
  • Willingness to undergo a non-invasive physical exam
    (which may involve wearing a hospital gown)
  • Availability for both training and interview/exam sessions of event
  • Reliable, punctual, and dependable
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Willingness to provide computer-based evaluations of the learner's performance


  • SPs are scheduled based on the learners' curricular schedules; dates are provided as far in advance as possible
  • Trainings and events typically run during the week, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm
  • All SPs are PRN (as needed) employees of MAHEC and do not receive any additional benefits associated with MAHEC

Hiring Range

Compensation will be provided at a rate of $15.00 per hour to those who qualify to participate.

To Apply*

We are currently seeking applications for open interviews in July to train in August for scenarios scheduled in October 2019. 

We strive to have a diverse pool of SPs of varying age, gender orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation. Although our SPs come from many different backgrounds, all must possess excellent communication skills. 

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC Standardized Patient Program Application


  • Be sure to fill out our application form completely
  • Our Simulation Center SP Manager may call you for additional information and/or screening depending on our current recruitment needs
  • We match patient cases with SPs to ensure there is diversity in age, gender, race, and other criteria
  • If we do not contact you right away, we will keep your information on file
  • We may contact you in the future if a case is needed that matches your profile

*MAHEC and University of North Carolina employees are not eligible to apply.