Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,187 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Jennifer Garner's Sweet Day Out with Her Kids: Mani-Pedis and Legoland
- The Best Photos from the Week of July 27- August 2, 2015
- FROM EW: Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis Join Cast of Next Woody Allen Movie
- Smosh Reveals the Craziest Moment on Set of Their Movie (and It's Pretty Gross)
- President Obama Turns 54: Michelle Obama Wishes Her 'Favorite Dance Partner' a Happy Birthday on Twitter
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 16, 1998
- Vol. 50
- No. 18
For Elizabeth O'Gara and Co., Playing Ill Is the Thing
The patient is an actor, and the pain and symptoms are faked, but the goal is serious: to teach young doctors how to diagnose and deal sensitively with people in distress. So vivid are the portrayals that the med students often forget they are dealing with actors. "They gasp, stare, call time-outs," says Elizabeth O'Gara, 41, who hires the players for the seven-year-old UCLA program (most U.S. medical schools have adopted similar training). "Or they freeze if they have to tell a cancer victim he's got three months to live." O'Gara's symptomaniacs, culled from a pool of some 300 actors, perform in 15-to-30-minute sessions for 150 students a year, playing victims of everything from date rape to terminal cancer. "It's not like Seinfeld," says O'Gara, referring to a classic episode in which patient-actors try to outdo each other with outrageous symptoms. "They're not supposed to overact. The problem is up to the student to ferret out."
O'Gara was recruited from her previous job as an administrative assistant at the school on the strength of some acting experience. The "patients" she hires earn $25 an hour.
Although O'Gara's audiences may not applaud, they are appreciative. "You're allowed to make mistakes here before you see real patients," says Stacy Thurber, 24, a second-year med student. "Here they can fail safely," agrees O'Gara. "And no one sues for malpractice."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!