Center director at UAB to lead international organization dedicated to standardized patient education

Shawn Galin, Ph.D., trains health care providers using standardized patients — trained to portray patients exhibiting signs of disease and injury — through UAB’s Center for Interprofessional Education and Simulation.
Written by: Karen Templeton
Media contact: Shannon Thomason

jpgShawn Galin, Ph.D.
Photography: Steve Wood
Shawn Galin, Ph.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Standardized Patient Education, has been named president-elect of the global Association of Standardized Patient Educators.

The 800-member ASPE represents standardized patient educators from academic institutions in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and South America. The professor of medicine for the UAB School of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine will step into this leadership role in January and serve through 2024. 

Galin spent the past five years with UAB’s Center for Interprofessional Education and Simulation, which brings the human element to interactive and simulated educational experiences. Through its Office of Standardized Patient Education, it employs standardized patients from the local community who are specifically trained to portray patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of disease and injury. The SPs interact with learners in experiential educational settings. Learners, depending on the context, are students, trainees, participants, examinees or candidates, and represent a wide array of health professions and beyond. Unique to working with SPs is they provide written and oral feedback on learner performance, from the perspective of the person or patient they portray.

This experience training health care providers using SPs has prepared Galin to help lead ASPE as the organization dedicated to promoting best practices in the application of SP methodology for education, assessment and research. The organization furthers the sharing of research and scholarship in the field of SP methodology, and works to advance its members’ professional knowledge and skills. 

“This is a big honor, and I am humbled by the amount of support received by ASPE members and current/past ASPE leadership,” Galin said. “I look forward to representing UAB most effectively as president of ASPE and highlighting the UAB campus as one of academic excellence and distinction, always adhering to the highest standards of best practice in SP methodology.”  

Galin says he looks forward to strengthening ASPE’s ongoing partnerships with affiliate organizations such as the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine, and the Association for Medical Education in Europe. Information gleaned through these interactions will be used at UAB to further support its educational mission.

“UAB’s Center for Interprofessional and Educational Simulation has established itself as a leader in dynamic teaching methods, and Dr. Galin has been an integral part of that,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit. “It is no surprise he’s been elected to lead an international organization dedicated to standardized patient education. We are proud of how he represents UAB and look forward to how his leadership will further strengthen the organization.”