Randy Yohe Published

MU Medical School Seeks Actors To Portray Patients

Woman in doctor's office.

Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine needs paid participants to act like real patients.

Patient actors will be paid $15 an hour. They will be coached to accurately portray and consistently recreate the history, emotional and physical findings of an actual patient in a clinical setting.

The patient actors will work alongside instructors and students in the Physician Assistant Program and the Marshall University School of Pharmacy.

Clinical skills coordinator Crystal Brooks said the work covers many medical facets.

“We give them a script, we provide training, and they participate as actors in our clinical space,” Brooks said. ”Sometimes from an hour to six hours, a couple of times a week. They will portray a patient in a certain case that we need to teach our learners.”

Brooks said patient actors should have no bias toward health care.

“We need patients that are reliable, punctual and committed to the education of professionals in the medical field,” Brooks said. “Somebody who can communicate well and has good interpersonal skills, and they must be eligible to work in the United States.”

All ages, sexes, races and ethnicities are needed.

Brooks said the patient actors program has been in effect for about two decades now at Marshall’s School of Medicine. She said it is regularly completed at West Virginia University in Charleston as well.

A standardized patient program open house and orientation is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center, Suite 1037, located at 1249 15th Street in Huntington.

The program runs all year and Brooks said you can apply at any time.

“We take into account their availability. If they’re only available on Monday afternoons, we contact them when we have an event, or an exam that is specifically on Monday afternoon,” Brooks said. “If they tell us that they’re only available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., we can work with that schedule as well. It’s a very flexible opportunity for somebody who has another job that is interested in continuing their acting skills, or someone who is just interested in assisting in the development of medical professionals.”

For additional information, contact Crystal Brooks at brooksc@marshall.edu or 304-691-1843. For an online application visit: https://www.cognitoforms.com/MarshallHealth2/StandardizedPatientDemographicForm.