We conducted a study which investigated if we could overcome challenges associated with interpersonal communication skills training by building a virtual human with back story. Eighteen students interacted with a virtual human who provided back story, and seventeen students interacted with the same virtual human who did not provide back story. Back story was achieved through the use of cutscenes which played throughout the virtual human interaction. Cutscenes were created with The Sims 3 and depicted short moments that occurred in the virtual human's life. We found medical students who interacted with a virtual human with a back story, when interacting with a standardized patient, were perceived by the standardized patient as more empathetic compared to the students who interacted with the virtual human without a back story. The results have practical implications for building virtual human experiences to train interpersonal skills. Providing back story appears to be an effective method to overcome challenges associated with training interpersonal skills with virtual humans.