• Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • Part Time

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Research Assistant - Standardized Patient Actor to portray all the characteristics of a real patient (including simulating the signs and symptoms) of a specific condition, or of family member, or other persons so that participants can take part in a high-fidelity clinical care scenario in a simulated clinical environment. The purpose of this IMPACTS project is to study the clinical decision-making processes of experienced clinicians (residents, fellows, and attendings in anesthesiology from both academic settings and community anesthesia practice) in a variety of simulation scenarios.

Work Schedule: Must be flexible regarding scheduling and assignments. The Standardized Patient Actor will need to be available to work some Saturday shifts to accommodate Simulation Center at VA Palo Alto, Simulation Center Staff, Principal Investigator's, and study subject's schedules. 

This is a part-time (0-19 hours a week), non-exempt (hourly-paid) position. Location: Palo Alto, CA.


  • Sick Pay
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Wellness Program
  • Employee Assistance Program

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved Without Compensation (WOC) appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.


  • Memorize a case script detailing specific emotions, behaviors, and (if relevant) disease signs/symptoms for presentation during high-fidelity simulation scenarios;
  • Present accurate case history information in a standardized manner, as elicited by participants; portray emotions, behaviors, and physical actions as specified in the script and scenario arc;
  • Perform multiple encounters in succession;
  • Standardized Patient Actor might receive guidance from scenario director on specific information/answers to queries or general direction.
  • Undergo limited physical examinations (no internal or breast exams) performed by the participants.
  • Lay out, retrieve, manipulate, or put away props specific to each scenario.
  • Participate in training sessions with project staff members with or without other Patient Actors.



Required: High school diploma;

Desired: Successful completion of acting classes or current enrollment in acting classes.



Required: Experience with acting through plays, community performance, etc. An actor with relevant experience who is not a Standardized Patient Actor could be considered.


  • Prior experience and training in portraying patients or sometimes family members, friends, or healthcare professional during simulation scenarios;
  • Experience working in School of Medicine simulation facilities, or an equivalent institution.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Must be flexible regarding scheduling and assignments; Flexibility in working Saturdays to accommodate Simulation Center at VAPAHCS, Simulation Ctr. Staff, Principal Investigator's, and study subject's schedules;
  • Be comfortable with having limited elements of physical examination maneuvers performed on self;
  • Ability to work well with faculty, scenario participants, and other Standardized Patient Actors;
  • Maintain confidentiality of information related to cases and participant behaviors;
  • Highly reliable with demonstrated organizational ability.

Physical Conditions: Will undergo limited physical examinations (no internal or breast exams). May be asked to wear appropriate makeup, wigs, costumes, and to perform both physically and verbally.  There may be moderate physical exertion to replicate certain active and passive body positions while lying on a gurney or sitting or standing.  There will be no lifting required.

Environmental Demands:  Exposure to office and (simulated) hospital/clinical environment.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: 

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact our Human Resources department at 

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