Standardized patients: The “other” simulation

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Although rarely thought of as simulations by anesthesia educators, the use of standardized patients to simulate clinical encounters spans 4 decades (Mt Sinai J Med. 1996;63:241-249; J Am Med Assoc. 1997;278:790-791; Int J Dermatol. 1999;38:893-894). Although its efficacy for education and evaluation in the medical community has been well established through extensive research, there is a distinct dearth in the literature in its use for anesthesia trainee education and evaluation. In this article, we discuss this simulation modality via a historic review, its current application in competency assessment, and its use in anesthesiology education and evaluation. We conclude with a “how to guide” to facilitate those considering including standardized patient simulations into their anesthesia training or simulation curriculum.

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