Standardized Patient Program

The UK College of Medicine standardized patient program was introduced in the 1980s, and over the subsequent decades the program has become deeply engrained throughout all years of our students' training through direct integration in multiple longitudinal courses. In fact, many other colleges at the University of Kentucky rely on the College of Medicine's Standardized Patient Program in their training. 

Our standardized patients at all of our campuses are rigorously trained to portray a wide variety of clinical scenarios with diverse backgrounds. Exam rooms at all campuses are designed to mimic a standard clinic room with all necessary equipment. Students interact with these standardized patients through various combinations of taking a history, performing a physical exam, sharing information, and counseling. 

To aid students as they work to build their clinical skills as they progress to the curriculum, students are assessed and provided with both formative and summative feedback frequently on their core clinical skills through Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Students work closely with UK College of Medicine faculty, who provide coaching to build up student’s clinical skills. To aid in this feedback all rooms have high-quality cameras and integrated computer systems to allow review by students and faculty. These systems allow the students the opportunity to document after encounters, mimicking a real-world setting.

Meet our Standardized Patient Team

Joseph Gatton

Standardized Patient Program Coordinator 
(859) 257-6292

After initially working as a standardized patient, Joe Gatton has been the coordinator of the Standardized Patient Program at the UK College of Medicine Learning Center since 2006. Joe works to coordinate the entire standardized patient program at all of our campuses and colleges outside the College of Medicine. In another incarnation, Joe has been an actor, teacher, casting director, and producer in the region for over thirty years working on stage and in film, television, and commercials.

Melissa Wilkeson
Standardized Patient Program Educator
(859) 323-3514

Melissa Wilkeson began working with the College of Medicine as a standardized patient (SP) in 2010 and after her stellar work, she subsequently was hired into her leadership position in the standardized patient program. A native of Lexington, Melissa graduated from the University of Kentucky with the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and pursued an acting career working professionally in Chicago, South Florida, Boston, and New York City.  Melissa remains active in the local theatre community.

Steve R Briggs, EdD
Standardized Patient & Simulation Coordinator 

Steve Briggs joined the College of Medicine in Bowling Green as it the campus was just becoming a reality. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and then a Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees from Western Kentucky University. He is the Standardized Patient and Simulation Coordinator for the Bowling Green campus. 

Alan Hall, MD

Assistant Dean of Competency Assessment
Standardized Patient Medical Director

Alan Hall attended medical school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and completed his residency training in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. He returned to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine to work as an adult and pediatric hospitalist. After being a clerkship director in Pediatrics, he is now the Assistant Dean of Competency Assessment, directing the standardized patient program.