The University of Maryland Schools of Medicine and Nursing Standardized Patient Program 

On Friday, April 26th, four SOMD Health Messengers were asked to participate in the “Collaborating Across Disciplines to Recruit, Train, Retain and Effectively Utilize People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as Standardized Patients at the University of Maryland Baltimore” pilot project.

Major healthcare organizations across the country agree that thorough and inclusive disability education in health sciences curricula is imperative to creating care providers across all disciplines who can provide ethically and developmentally appropriate care to people with disabilities across the lifespan.

Adding this significantly under-represented population of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (PWIDD) to our Standardized Patient Program will allow all UMB’s healthcare disciplines to create numerous interprofessional simulations and activities utilizing PWIDD, which has not been possible before. Including people with disabilities in our simulation education helps expose students to real scenarios and people who can speak to the genuine issues related to their disability and its impact on their life and their health.

In collaboration with the Special Olympics International and Special Olympics Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore will enhance our ability to provide this essential interprofessional instruction to students through the intentional recruitment and training of Special Olympics Health Messengers into its Standardized Patient Program. Each Health Messenger worked directly alongside an “expert” standardized patient, and together, they helped train the next generation of healthcare providers. 


Health Messengers: Peris Bennett, Annu Singleton, Jimmy Tadlock, Alexea Wentz

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