Patient Partners

female medical student smiling at a male patient volunteer in a GP consultation room in the School of Medicine at ARU Chelmsford campus

School of Medicine graduates will be practising modern medicine into the next half of the 21st century, so we need to equip our medical students with a skills-set that ensures that they know:

  1. how to interact with patients from an early stage
  2. how they can effectively examine patients and
  3. how they can undertake practical procedures to ensure they have the attributes and professional attitude to function effectively as doctors.

What is a Patient Volunteer?

Patient volunteers provide an invaluable role in the development and training of our students. We enlist the help of patient volunteers to act as ‘real patients’ so that students can develop both their communication skills as well as their diagnostic abilities in simulated real-life situations.  In this respect students will be better prepared when on clinical placements in hospitals, clinic and GP practices.

Why do we need patients like you?

We need volunteers to help train our student doctors. You can help by being a simulated and/or clinical patient. 

Simulated patients 
Simulated patients are members of the public who volunteer to ‘act’ as patients, allowing our students to learn how to undertake consultations, perform examinations and practice procedural skills - such as taking patients’ blood pressure. 

Clinical patients 
Clinical patients are members of the public who – having an existing or long term medical condition - are willing to discuss their symptoms and condition with our students in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of different conditions from the patients’ perspective. 

What is the process of joining the School of Medicine Patient Partners volunteer group?

If you are interested in taking part in this invaluable work for us, we would ask you to complete the short application form below.

You will then be invited to attend an information session, where we can tell you more about what is involved and make sure that you are suitable to take part.  If you are happy to continue, we would then ask you to attend a selection interview. Once accepted into the Patient Partners group, we will provide you with any necessary training.

Where will the volunteering role take place?

Teaching and assessments will be held in the School of Medicine building at our Chelmsford campus.

How often will I be required? 

All new volunteers to the Patient Partners group will be invited to complete a diary of availability for the forthcoming academic year (September–July), there is no maximum or minimum number of times you would be required as this will depend entirely on your availability. However, we would normally ask you to commit to a minimum of two half-days across the academic year.

Please download the Patient Participation Group Information Leaflet 

Download an Application Form

Please email: for further details on the group.