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

Integrating actors into a simulation program: a primer.

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From the Executive and Continuing Professional Education (B.E.O.), Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School (R.C.P., P.H.W.); Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice (R.C.P., B.E.O., K.M.F., E.C.M.), Simulator Program (P.H.W.), Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.


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.

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