The Queen’s University Standardized Participant(SP) Program has been operating since 1992. The program was inspired by Dr. Howard Barrows who developed the program in the 1960’s after realizing that actual patients who were available for teaching and examinations were not providing consistent and valuable experiences for his medical students and were often too sick to practice on.
The first program was developed at McMaster University where Barrows began to train actors to portray the patients for his students, he made them standardized so that every encounter was exactly the same and no student had an advantage over others.
Today, SP Programs have expanded across North America and are now being used outside of the medical field in areas such as business, education and law. The ability to practice skills prior to a real life situation has proven to be valuable in all areas of education and training.
SPs are a diverse group of individuals representing the Kingston community from all walks of life. Our current pool has over 100 SPs, aged 16-85. Students interact with SPs in a variety of learning and examination activities. Our Training Specialists prepare SPs to portray cases for the learners to implement practical and communication skills. SPs allow students & professionals the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe, structured, & supervised setting before they encounter real situations.