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The Patients Playing a Part Program

Members of our community taking an important role in Medical Education.
Participate in the education of future physicians by playing the role of a patient in educational encounters.

What is a Patient Playing a Part (PPP)?

PPPs are community members who allow medical students to practice their history taking and physical examination skills. They are an integral part of medical education and can range from people with specific diseases to those who are in perfect health. PPPs play the part of a patient in simulated clinical encounters where the medical student learns to ask questions and perform the physical examination skills they will need to become excellent physicians.

A good PPP…

  • Has transportation to/from the hospital
  • Is able to donate time on a Thursday or Friday morning
  • Is comfortable talking about their current health and past medical history OR is comfortable allowing medical students to practice simple physical examinations
  • Is passionate about medical education

Benefits of being a PPP:

  • Giving back to the community
  • Helping train the next generation of health care professionals
  • Inside look into the life of a medical student

What Can I Expect?

  • You will play the part of a patient while first and second year medical students practice their history taking and physical examination skills in a simulated clinical encounter.
  • No preparation is required on your part. Simply come prepared to discuss your health as you would in a doctor’s office.
  • A typical session involves you being interviewed by one or more medical students and then allowing them to perform simple physical examinations on you. Some sessions will only involve the interview whereas others will only involve the physical examination.
  • Typical physical examinations include taking your pulse, checking your blood pressure, checking your reflexes or listening to your heart and lungs
  • Your comfort is always our priority. You will never have to do something that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Students are under the supervision of fully licensed doctors.
  • All information will be kept strictly confidential

Please click here to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why does U of T need PPPs?

    The Mississauga Academy of Medicine opened in 2011 and currently has 108 medical students enrolled who need to practice their clinical skills.

  • Why can’t students use patients who are already in the hospital?

    Hospital inpatients are often too sick to help in the training of first and second year students. They are in need of acute care and often don’t have the energy to allow students to practice on them.

  • Will my information be kept confidential?

    Yes. All staff and students receive training and understand the importance of confidentiality.

  • Which hospital will I go to?

    You will be asked if you prefer the Credit Valley or Trillium site when you sign up.

  • How long will each session last?

    Approximately 3 hours.

  • How long do I have to commit for?

    You will only be needed occasionally throughout the school year, ranging from 2-5 sessions.

  • Will I receive health care during my visit?

    No. These visits are for educational purposes only.

  • Will I have to take my clothes off?

    Some physical exams require patients to wear a gown whereas others do not. You will be asked your preference when you sign up. We will never ask you to do something you are not comfortable with.

  • Will I have to pay for parking or public transportation?

    Parking costs or public transportation are complimentary for each session

Testimonial from current PPP

I am a "volunteer patient" as a way to give back to my community. Being a volunteer patient allows me to help train our future doctors. They might be the ones who treat our children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. Helping train the doctors of tomorrow is a great way to interact with the bright minds that will be treating our community. The "volunteer patient" is an easy way to assist with the training of the future doctors of tomorrow and only has a small time commitment and minimal training for you.
- Bob Henning

To apply or for more information

To apply, please click here.


For more information

Call the Medical Education Office: 905-848-7617
Or send us an email:

Mailing Address
Medical Education Office
Clinical Administrative Building – 7th Floor
100 Queensway West, Mississauga, ON  L5B 1B8