Become a patient for fun. Help train the doctors of the future


Institutional Communication Service

19 February 2021

Registration is now open for the Simulated Patients Program for Clinical Practical Examinations (OCSE) of USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences. Simulated patients take part in the practical examinations that the students of the Master of Medicine must take at the end of each semester and are essential to test future doctors' skills.


Who is the simulated patient?

It is an individual trained to act as an actual patient to simulate a set of symptoms or problems during med students' practical exams. His or her task is to reproduce the history, personality, and emotions of an actual patient at a given time of illness by mimicking the clinical signs and adopting the corresponding body language.


What does the simulated patient do?

He/she plays the role of a patient defined by the examination case.

During practical examinations, the simulated patient is asked questions and examined by the medical student. For the examination day, the patient must play the role several times, meeting up to 8 students consecutively.


What are the requirements to become a simulated patient?

To become a simulated patient, the volunteer must be willing to help young students become good physicians, get involved through role-playing and commit to the free time you available. Eligible candidates of both sexes must be 18 or older, Swiss residents, or must hold a work permit.


How does one become a simulated patient?

Candidates must complete a questionnaire, undergo a brief medical examination if necessary, and play a test role. If all criteria are met, the candidate enters the Simulated Patient Program.
An interdisciplinary team, consisting of physicians and teachers from the Dimitri Theatre Academy, accompanies candidates through the quick training process to help them step into the shoes of the simulated patient.

The commitment required is about six days per year (6 half days of training + 3 days of examination) during January-February and June-July.

Selected simulated patients are paid an hourly allowance of CHF 30. - for tests and examinations. 


OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination. The OSCE consists of a set of tasks, known as stations, which the student must take one after the other. The number of tasks and their content is chosen according to the set objectives. At the end of each semester of the Master of Medicine, students must take optional exams divided into written exams and practical exams with simulated patients.


To learn more about the informative meetings, exam modalities, and requirements, click here