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This paper describes the use of simulated patients in medical education and how actors have been deployed with medical students in Aberdeen. The advantages and disadvantages of using actors for student education are summarised and we conclude with some possible future developments. At the outset, it may be helpful to outline some definitions, as in the review by Barrows (1993). A 'standardised patient' is an umbrella term for both an actual patient who is trained to present his or her owndoi:10.1192/pb.bp.106.010793 fatcat:ba2pvixu4jfvxb5tqvswmz7rie