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 Patients Playing a Part (PPP)

Patients Playing a Part (PPP) is a program supported through the Education Office of Trillium Health Partners. These community volunteers are an important part of our students’ medical training and education.  Volunteers include people with specific diseases and those who are perfectly healthy. Our volunteers play the part of a patient inside a simulated doctor’s office where the medical students learn to ask the questions and perform the physical examination skills they will need to become doctors.

  • Opportunities to volunteer within this program occur on Thursday and/or Friday mornings between 8:00 a.m. to  12:00 p.m. at our Credit Valley Hospital or Mississauga Hospital sites.
  • This is a unique opportunity for volunteers to donate their time without having to make a weekly commitment.
  • The program runs from September to May.
  • The Patients Playing a Part program is an interesting and rewarding experience for individuals who want to contribute to their medical community and support the education of future physicians.

Interested in volunteering?

Please contact  René deHooge (CVH) or Paty Callaghan (MH)

We look forward to hearing from you!

What is PPP?

Patients Playing a Part (PPP) is a program made up of community volunteers with specific diseases and/or those who are perfectly healthy. PPPs play the part of a patient inside a simulated doctor’s office where the medical students learn to ask the questions and perform the physical examination skills they need to become doctors.

Am I a candidate to be a PPP?

You are a candidate to be a PPP if you:

  • Enjoy giving back to the community.
  • Are free to volunteer your time on the occasional Thursday or Friday morning.
  • Are comfortable talking about your current health and past medical history.
  • Are comfortable allowing medical students to practice simple physical examinations on you.

What Can I Expect?

  • You will play the part of a patient while first and second year medical students practice their medical history taking and physical examination skills in a simulated doctor’s office.
  • You do not need to prepare for this volunteer experience - simply be ready 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.
  • Typical physical examinations might include taking your pulse, checking your blood pressure, checking your reflexes and listening to your heart and lungs.
  • Your comfort is the most important thing to us; you will never have to do something that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Students are studying under the supervision of fully licensed doctors.
  • There is no remuneration. This is on a volunteer basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does MAM need PPPs?
The University of Toronto’s 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 in-patients are often too sick to help in the training of first and second year students. These patients need 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 on the importance of confidentiality.

Which hospital will I go to?
You will be asked if you have a preference between the Credit Valley Hospital or Mississauga Hospital when you sign up.

How long will each session last?
About 3 hours.

How long do I have to commit for?
We schedule about 3-8 sessions with you during the school year (September to May) according to your availability.

Will I receive health care during my visit?
No. These visits are for educational purposes only.

Will I have to change into a hospital gown?
Some physical exams require patients to wear a gown whereas others do not. We will not ask you to do something you are not comfortable with.