Clinical education and training for the physician assistant student is an integral
component of the PCOM Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program.
Students are required to complete seven core rotations in the following disciplines:
family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, behavioral
medicine, pediatrics and gynecology/prenatal care. These rotations are six weeks in
length. An elective rotation is also required after the completion of all core rotations.
The elective is four weeks in length. As such, we rely heavily on practicing providers
to assist and supervise the student in the development of the skills and clinical
judgment necessary to become a practicing Physician Assistant.
BECOME A PRECEPTOR
Who Can Precept a Physician Assistant Student?
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant specifies
that preceptors who are prepared by advanced medical education and experience may
supervise clinical practice experiences. The following will be considered as potential
- Physicians who are specialty board certified in their area of instruction;
- NCCPA certified PAs, or
- Other licensed healthcare providers experienced in their area of instruction.
Benefits of Precepting
The benefits of precepting at PCOM include:
- Adjunct clinical faculty appointment.
- Online access to the PCOM library.
- Continuing Medical Education as specified by professional organization:
- AMA Category 2 – one hour can be claimed for each hour of direct supervision of a
- AAPA Category 1 – may be earned by PA preceptors who register with the program in
advance for up to 10 hours per year, in addition to;
- AAPA Category 2 – one hour can be claimed for each hour of direct supervision of a
student that was not used to apply for Category 1 CME.
- AAPA additionally recognizes PA preceptors though the clinical preceptor recognition
program. AAPA Fellow members who precept more than one student may register for this program online.
How to Become a Preceptor
PCOM Department of Physician Assistant Studies is interested in preceptors who provide:
- Medical care across the life span to include, infants, children, adolescents, adults
and the elderly;
- Women’s health care (to include prenatal and gynecologic care);
- Care for conditions requiring surgical management, including pre-operative, intra-operative,
post-operative care and;
- Care for behavioral and mental health conditions.
Preceptors are evaluated by a clinical coordinator. The program will periodically
conduct site assessments to assess student training opportunities and discuss student
experiences with the preceptor. Students are required to complete a formal assessment
of the preceptor and training experience at the end of each experience. Preceptors
are also required to complete a formal student evaluation at the completion of each
To qualify as a preceptor, candidates must:
- Possess current board certification in the designated discipline.
- Possess a current license in good standing to practice medicine.
- Be a positive role model demonstrating professionalism.
- Be able to provide ongoing appropriate feedback to students to ensure continued professional
Preceptor Faculty Requirements
In order to be considered for the program all preceptor applicants must:
- Complete a preceptor information form;
- Provide a clinical setting with appropriate clinical direction and immediate supervision
- Review both the program’s and your personal expectations and objectives for the rotation
the first day of their rotation;
- Maintain an ethical approach to the care of patients by serving as a role model for
- Remember that students are unlicensed trainees and cannot work at the site if the
preceptor/designee is physically not present.
Preceptor Site Requirements
Preceptor site requirements include:
- The site should provide adequate space for students to meet program defined expectations.
- There should be one designated preceptor for any given experience who assumes the
responsibility of student orientation, training and assessment.
- The site should be a safe setting for the student experience.
- The site should provide approximately 40 hours per week of patient contact hours.