Here’s a typical standardized patient drill: I am Jane Doe, age 54. I have a headache, productive cough, green mucus and a low grade fever that began two days ago. The room looks exactly like you would imagine, just like a patient’s room in a clinic. The biggest exception are the cameras and microphones, which are recording every moment. The medical student waits outside the door for the timer. “You may begin this station now,” the voice from above prompts. They are usually very nervous. Sometimes shaking. The doc in training enters, and I am no longer myself. I am sick.
I have made a living my whole career as a freelance actress, and in the past several years have applied my experience to work in the medical field. As a standardized patient and actor in hospital training videos, I get to enjoy all the trappings of being on both sides of the medical world, as a fake doctor and fake patient. The line became blurred when fake breast cancer became real Wednesday, January 13, 2016. These posts will explore all things wacky and serious on my way from fake sick to real and back again. Check back here every other week for new posts and videos.