You know how it feels. You wake up not feeling well and then you decide that you need to go to the doctor. You know that when you drag yourself into the waiting room, it’s going to be just that —a wait. Until you get to see the doctor. Until the doctor will see you face-to-face to help diagnose what ails you and, hopefully, prescribes a course of action (medication?) to get you on the mend. But what you might not know is that there is a whole industry set up to help train doctors to deal with that face-to-face interaction. They use fake patients. Fake. Patients. Yes, really.

Photographer Corinne Botz takes us on a journey into this world of fake patients, or as they are actually called, “Standardized patients” (SPs). These SPs are mostly professional actors who have been trained to present specific symptoms that can help medical students hone their diagnostic abilities and gain actual experience working with real human beings. These interactions are, in turn, filmed and then (not unlike sports playback films) evaluated by the students’ medical professors, who can use the material to help them become better doctors. So when the medical students are finally ready to leave a lab setting and interact with you and me, the real thing, they are already on their way …

See more of Corinne’s work here.

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