Standardized Patients and Gynecological Teaching Associates

  • Lou Clark
  • Chelsea Weaks
  • Renee M. Dorsey
  • Vanessa Strickland
  • Shirley McAdam
Part of the Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation book series (CHS)


Standardized patients (SPs) are people judiciously recruited, hired, and trained to portray patients in order to support health-care trainees through formative and summative educational activities designed to develop clinical skills. SP Educators are a critical part of the training process to coach SPs to authentically portray patients, assess learners, and provide behaviorally based feedback. SPs are used in OB/GYN simulation activities for case portrayals and in hybrid simulations with mannequins and partial task trainers. Specialized SPs, known as gynecological teaching associates (GTAs), also provide education with invasive exams including the speculum, bimanual, and rectal exams to learners using their own bodies. This chapter describes the various manners in which SPs and GTAs are used for OB/GYN simulation activities.


Standardized patient (SP) Gynecological teaching associate (GTA) Pelvic exam Breast exam Simulation Health communication 



Special thanks to Robin Nicholson and Emily Sucher for providing insights from their perspectives as standardized patients.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lou Clark
    • 1
  • Chelsea Weaks
    • 2
  • Renee M. Dorsey
    • 1
  • Vanessa Strickland
    • 1
  • Shirley McAdam
    • 3
  1. 1.Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Val G. Hemming Simulation CenterSilver SpringUSA
  2. 2.Gynecological Teaching Associate ProgramSchool – Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive LearningNorfolkUSA
  3. 3.Clinical Simulation Laboratory at the University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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