Standardized Clients (SC) are an important part of the HPU Pharmacy Program and give our students first-hand experiences in an environment where they will apply newly learned skills in a real world format.

Students are given a patient scenario where case specifics are defined, as to what condition, medications, and problems the patient may have, so they can apply critical thinking skills in performing a medication history, assessing the problem, identifying what needs to be done, and counseling the patient, parent, or healthcare provider. By practicing independently, without instructors or peers, to solve the patient’s problem, the student quickly realizes what is needed to help a patient. This is the ‘real test of what is needed to know’ to be an extraordinary pharmacist in today’s world!

Standardized Clients are recruited and trained to portray live patients. SCs learn and act out the defined script consistently so that each student gets the ‘same’ experience. The faculty trains each SC to perform the role.

Feedback from the standardized client, the faculty, and the video recording gives our students an ‘edge’ in acquiring patient-centered skills.

  • The SC provides feedback to the student on communication skills and how the overall experience was.
  • The faculty scrutinizes the encounter to provide professional knowledge to the student.
  • The student self-assesses their performance to identify improvements.


Students report their experience working with a SC to be realistic and helpful in applying what was taught in Skills Lab and the classroom. Even though students tend to be nervous and uncomfortable initially, they learn the importance of communication and good interpersonal skills early in their training. The HPU SOP program blends basic sciences, clinical information, and ‘real patient’ interactions to maximize learning and retention of information. With each SC encounter, students are one step closer to becoming a competent pharmacist and by graduation, each student will practice at a high level.

This awesome learning experience helps our students be ‘practice-ready’ upon graduation.

If interested in being part of this exciting learning experience, please read the additional information and complete the application form: