Pomona, CA – Every actor needs a director, even those who portray patients
for the benefit of medical students.
Western University of Health Science’s (WesternU) College of Osteopathic
Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) has hired Christine Jacobson to be that
director, taking on the position as the medical school’s standardized
patient trainer. Standardized Patients (SPs) are professional actors who
recreate actual patient cases accurately and consistently as a means of
assisting medical students in the development and practice of their
Jacobson has extensive acting and directing experience. A member of the
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and
Radio Artists (AFTRA), she has appeared in several movies and television
programs, including “”Days of Our Lives,”” “”Wings,”” and “”In the House,””
among others. She has performed in productions at the La Jolla Playhouse,
the Arena Theatre in Fullerton, Summer Stars Theatre in San Francisco, and
In addition to her acting skills, Jacobson is a dancer and has worked as a
dance instructor at Chaffey College. She also worked as a substitute
teacher in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District for two years.
She has a bachelor of arts degree in theater from California State
University Fullerton and is working towards a master’s degree in mass
communications at California State University Los Angeles.
Jacobson also has considerable experience herself as an SP, having
portrayed a patient for COMP students since 1995.
COMP added the SP trainer position after receiving a three-year federal
grant to create tests that will objectively assess medical students’
competence in taking patients’ health histories and conducting physical
The grant, titled “”Clinical Performance Assessment & Remediation”” is
funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of
the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The HRSA has funded
$370,227 (or 44 percent) toward the project’s full cost; WesternU will
finance the remaining $476,143 (or 56 percent).
The medical school has been using SPs as part of its students’ clinical
training since 1993. The new grant takes that training to an even higher
level as students may have to pass the clinical skills tests as a
COMP plans to begin the tests this year.
Jacobson, a graduate of Bonita High School, lives in Pomona with her