Integrating actors into a simulation program: a primer

Simul Healthc. 2014 Apr;9(2):120-6. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e3182a3ded7.


We describe our more than 10 years' experience working with actors and provide a "how-to" guide to recruiting, auditioning, hiring, training, and mentoring actors for work as simulated patients in simulation programs. We contend that trained actors add great realism, richness, and depth to simulation-based training programs. The actors experience satisfaction from their contributions, and their skill and improvisational talent allow programs to offer ethical and relational training, customized to a wide range of practitioners and adapted across a variety of health care conversations. Such learning opportunities can directly address Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies in preparing capable, confident, and empathic health care practitioners.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Mentors
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Personnel Selection / organization & administration