Standardized Patient

Standardized Patient is a two-channel video projection commissioned by SFMOMA for it’s New Work series that offers insight into the work of Standardized Patients (“SP’s”)—professional actors who portray patients in a simulated clinical environment as part of medical students’ training. The installation features an angled screen that presents a progression of SP encounters on one side and a synchronized montage of supporting materials on the reverse. Fragments of the patients’ scripts, diagnostic flow charts, and textbook illustrations offer glimpses of the kinds of information that underlie the action. Such an encounter format suggests that these performers inhabit a dual headspace—holding conversations while mentally tracking checklist items to be submitted afterward—an inversion of roles in which the “patients” are now the evaluators. The paradox of the SP exam lies in its artifice: both parties are acting while also being themselves. Yet there is the potential for medical student and actor to connect when both willingly suspend disbelief. The project explores questions of empathy, communication, and performance, and was developed through Tribe’s close collaboration with professional clinicians, communication experts, and Standardized Patients at Stanford University and the University of Southern California.

Director and Writer: Kerry Tribe

Producer and First Assistant Director: J. Makary

Cinematographers: Sam Ketay, Paul Marschall

Editor: Alex Tyson

Sound and Music: Michael Webster

Sound Recordist: Darryl Williams

Image Research: Anna Wittenberg, Alex Tyson

Graphic Design: Joshua Haycraft

Production Assistants: Sofia Chang, Gegham Sargsyan

Post Sound Assistant: Adrian Garcia

USC Data Management Specialist: Daniel Amparan

USC Location Coordinators: Joy Cruz, Samuel Wilkes

Stanford Location Coordinator: Pamela Nemecek

Performers: Heldine Aguiluz, Daniel Amparan, Bradford Barnes, Joy Cruz, Caroline George, H. Richard Greene, Tanya Jain Gupta, Behrod Katebian, Danielle Ma, Erica Mathlin, Win May, Eve Muller, Connie Nelson, and Mel Brian Patrón

Consultants: Win May, MD, PhD; Karen Thomson Hall; Samuel Wilkes; Pamela Nemecek; Tanya Jain Gupta, MD; Behrod Katebian, MD; and Eve Muller

Commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Courtesy the artist and 1301PE, Los Angeles

Standardized Patient, 2017

2-channel video projection, 17:27 minutes loop

Original running time: 17:27 min
Excerpt: 03:03 min