Iowa Geriatric Education Center Iowa Geriatric Education Center

Standardized Patient Actor Training

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Section 3 - The Alzheimer's Disease Patient

Did Your Physician? Checklist
This document tells you what your student doctor should do (marked with a "+") and not do (marked with a "-") during functional assessment, and provides you places to check off what he or she does and record any notes to use in the debriefing session. It also contains brief reminders of how to portray the patient.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
This document lists the activities of daily living with which you have trouble (marked with a "+" because in medicine, a positive finding means there is a problem). You should follow this sheet when answering the student doctor's questions about your functioning.

Male Patient Description and Female Patient Description
These documents give your patient history, review of symptoms, and physical exam. The version appropriate to your gender will be given to the medical student before he or she enters the exam room.

Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE)
This form indicates which items you should miss (marked with an "X") when asked the questions on the MMSE, and also shows how you should copy the pentagons and write the sentence.

Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
This form indicates how you should answer when asked the questions on the GDS.


The links to the right are documents that you may use during the simulated clinic encounter and the post-encounter debriefing session with the medical student. Please review each of these documents.

Your patient history, review of symptoms, and physical exam will be given to the student prior to the clinic encounter and will not be simulated. However, you (as the actor) should know what your medical student doctor knows about you (as the patient) already.

You will play a 78-year old retired farmer or farm wife from rural Johnson County, Iowa, who has come to the doctor's office with your spouse for a general checkup. If asked why you are here, you respond that your spouse wanted you to come.

You have recently been having difficulty with your memory and misplacing items. Some of these problems, such as forgetting appointments, have been present for years, but only recently you became lost while trying to drive home from a place that you go regularly. You do not tell the doctor about these problems, but he or she discovers them by talking with your spouse.

You and your spouse have four children who live throughout the United States. The closest is a daughter who lives in Chicago. You do not smoke or drink. You and your spouse still live in the two-story farmhouse you have lived in for over 50 years, but now lease the farm to someone else since retiring ten years ago.

In your 20s, you had your appendix removed. You have a history of high blood pressure, for which you have been prescribed two medications. Nonetheless, your blood pressure is too high when checked at this visit. You also have arthritis of the knees, and are taking two aspirin tablets twice a day for knee pain. You have crusting patches of redness on the skin of your forehead, cheeks, and ears. The rest of your physical exam is normal.

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