How To Keep Community Preceptors

Preceptorship: This qualitative study is required reading for educators running courses, clerkships, residencies, or fellowships which depend on the contributions of volunteer community preceptors.  Researchers interviewed 27 volunteer faculty who were pediatricians practicing in the community and who had recently decided to stop or decrease their teaching of pediatric clerkship students.  Statements from the interviews were grouped into several themes about the difficulties leading to their decision to stop or cut back their involvement with teaching, as well as factors that would be viewed as positive inducements to teaching.

The evolution of healthcare delivery was commonly noted as a barrier, including increased documentation requirements, increased pressure for clinical productivity/RVU generation, and decreased efficiency with use of the electronic medical record (EMR).  These time pressures made the additional time needed for teaching more onerous, and eroded more into personal time needed by the physicians.  Student and educational system factors were also frequently identified as barriers:  disinterested students; decreased connection to or recognition by the academic institution; burdensome or unrealistic clerkship expectations; and decreased student interaction time.  Physicians also identified possible positive factors which would encourage their participation, including:  adequate monetary compensation or other recognition/benefit; a personal connection and improved communication with academic faculty; faculty development to improve teaching and efficiency; and involved students who could contribute something to efficiency.  The recent change in the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services allowing for student documentation to “count” for billing with proper supervision may help with the last item.  As with most studies of this sort, there are concerns about the representativeness of those who agreed to be interviewed, but the themes identified are consistent with previous work on the topic of community preceptors. –Laura Willett, MD

Paul, Caroline R. MD; Vercio, Chad MD; Tenney-Soeiro, Rebecca MD, MSEd; Peltier, Chris MD; Ryan, Michael S. MD, MEHP; Van Opstal, Elizabeth R. MD; Alerte, Anton MD; Christy, Cynthia MD; Kantor, Julie L.; Mills, William A. Jr. MD, MPH; Patterson, Patricia B. MD; Petershack, Jean MD; Wai, Andrew MD, MPH; Beck Dallaghan, Gary L. PhD, The Decline in Community Preceptor Teaching Activity
Exploring the Perspectives of Pediatricians Who No Longer Teach Medical Students Academic Medicine: August 13, 2019 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print

 

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