Volunteer Patient Programme

Volunteer Patient Programme

Would you help us to train tomorrow’s doctors?

Medical StudentThe University of Glasgow Medical School has a Volunteer Patient Programme and is looking for members of the public as ‘simulated patients’.

By working with volunteer patients, medical students can develop their communication and examination skills, and become tomorrow’s first class doctors.

How do I know if I am suitable to be a simulated patient?

You don’t need any experience or any medical problem. We are looking for people from all walks of life and all ages.

Why do we need simulated patients?

Using simulated patients is an excellent way of teaching medical students to communicate and to understand the concerns of patients.

Will I receive any training?

Yes, you will be invited to attend a one-day training session. After this you will ‘shadow’ an experienced simulated patient until you feel confident to be involved yourself.  

What will I be expected to do?

You will work with small groups of students and a tutor to learn about a specific medical problem using a technique called ‘role-playing’.

Some volunteers also work with students who are practising non-invasive examination skills, such as Blood Pressure Recording. You can choose whether you would like to participate in either role-playing or examination classes, or both.

There are no needles or medicines, and you will always be supervised by a medical professional. 

What is ‘role-playing’?

A role-play is where you are given a short script containing information about a medical condition - for example a sore back or a headache – and the student asks you questions about your medical history and how the condition is affecting you. Later, you give the students feedback on how they performed.

What benefits are there for me?

You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making an important contribution to training tomorrow’s doctors. Our simulated patients enjoy the interaction in the classroom, and find it an interesting experience. They also feel their own confidence is boosted as they learn new skills such as how to give feedback.

Is there any payment?

You will receive travel expenses. We will also provide tea, coffee and a lunch in our cafe.

How often will my help be required?

Most volunteers participate in 4-6 classes a year. The number of times you take part will depend on your availability and on what is being taught in theMedicalSchool. You can also choose to get involved in the important end of year exams.

Can I opt-out of any class?

You are under no obligation to attend any class, and can opt-out without explanation. You will never be expected to do something you are uncomfortable with.

How can I find out more?

If you would like to discuss becoming a Simulated Patient, or have any questions about the programme, please contact

Miss Pamela Small
Patient and Public Involvement Officer
Wolfson Medical School
University Avenue
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ

Telephone: 0141 330 8018

Email: med-sch-simulatedpatients@glasgow.ac.uk

By volunteering you help us to train high quality doctors in a degree programme that has a worldwide reputation.