We would like to take this opportunity to personally express our sincere gratitude to you, our preceptors, for your contributions and dedication to the Gardner Webb University Department of Physician Assistant Studies and our physician assistant (PA) students. The clinical experiences that our students gain while working with you are vital to student success in our program. The clinical setting synthesizes concepts and applications of principles for quality health care delivery. You, as a clinical preceptor, are the key to successful learning experiences in the clinical setting. Working closely with you, our PA students learn from your expertise, advice, and example. Under your supervision, our students progressively develop and strengthen the skills and clinical judgment necessary to become practicing PAs.

We thank you for your commitment to our students and to PA education.

The Clinical Team
Department of PA Studies, Gardner-Webb University

Principles of SCPEs

The central principles of each SCPE are allowing the student to fulfill ARC-PA Standards and develop entry-level medical practice skills, including:

  • care for patients in a safe and acceptable educational environment,
  • encounter patients from across the lifespan,
  • obtain hands-on clinical experience,
  • participate in the delivery of medical care in diverse healthcare settings, including the emergency department, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, women’s healthcare, and behavioral/mental health, in private practices, practices owned/operated by large healthcare organizations, and hospitals,
  • participate in joint-decision making and informational exchange with all members of the healthcare team,
  • progressively increased independence with the presence of an appropriate preceptor,
  • active participation in evaluation, diagnosis, and management of all patients, as deemed appropriate by the preceptor
  • elicit detailed histories, perform physical examinations, provide an oral presentation of findings and develop a differential diagnosis
  • effectively structure an assessment and treatment plan through ongoing discussion with preceptor to function as an entry-level PA upon graduation.

Preceptor Expectations

Preceptor responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Must hold a valid license that allows them to practice at the SCPE site.
  • Be familiar with GWU/PA program policies and procedures via the orientation materials provided by the program.
  • Be responsible for the coordination of the student’s overall learning experience.
  • Ensure the student is provided orientation regarding site-specific policies and procedures.
  • Review the expectations and objectives for the SCPE with the student.
  • Provide ongoing feedback regarding clinical performance, knowledge base, and critical thinking skills.
  • Supervise, demonstrate, teach, and observe clinical activities to facilitate the development of clinical skills and ensure proper patient care.
  • Assign teaching or coordination of tasks to other qualified clinicians, such as attending physicians, residents, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners, as needed or desired.
  • Delegate increasing levels of responsibility to the student for clinical assessment and management of the patient.
  • Participate in the evaluation of clinical skills and medical knowledge base through the following mechanisms:
    • Direct supervision, observation, and teaching in the clinical setting;
    • Direct evaluation of presentations (including both written and oral);
  • Assignment of outside readings and research to promote further learning.
  • Review student documentation (including shadow notes) and cosign if the student note remains part of the official patient record.
  • Complete the Preceptor Evaluation of Student form during the final week of the SCPE.
  • Complete the Student Preparedness for SCPE Evaluation at the end of Block #1. This is not an evaluation of the student’s performance at the completion of a SCPE but of cohort preparedness to undertake SCPEs, as a measure of the effectiveness of the didactic curriculum.
  • Promptly notify the PA program of any circumstances that might interfere with accomplishing the above goals or diminish the overall training experience.
  • Maintain an ethical approach to patient care and student education.

Student Expectations at a SCPE site

While adhering to professional standards, the student is expected to perform the following activities during the SCPE:

  • Attend SCPE as scheduled.
    • If a preceptor is not at the clinical site when the student is scheduled to be there, the student is not automatically excused from attending clinic. Instead, the student must contact the clinical team as outlined in the SCPE Communication Policy.
    • If available at the SCPE site, the student should attend other learning opportunities, such as grand rounds, lectures, conferences, morbidity/mortality conferences, tumor boards, etc.
    • Some preceptors may incorporate study time into the student’s schedule, which must be documented on the student calendar. However, the student is NOT TO ASK for time off for studying. (see Student Attendance section)
  • Obtain detailed histories.
  • Conduct physical exams.
  • Develop a differential diagnosis.
  • Formulate an assessment and plan.
  • Discuss patients with a preceptor.
  • Give oral presentations.
  • Appropriately document findings.
    • If the student has access to EMR, findings must be documented in the patient record and must be co-signed by the preceptor in the patient record.
    • If the student does not have access to EMR, then the student must chart a “shadow note” separate from the patient’s record. The note will not be removed from the site and must be reviewed with the preceptor. As a reminder, preceptors are asked to evaluate the student’s documentation on the Preceptor Evaluation of Student at the end of each SCPE.
  • Perform and/or interpret common lab results and diagnostics.
  • Educate and counsel patients across the lifespan regarding health-related issues.
  • Demonstrate emotional resilience, stability, adaptability, and flexibility during the clinical year.
  • Submit coursework as outlined per SCPE Specific Course Syllabus Information section. In addition, students should check Blackboard for the most up-to-date course assignment information.

Expectations of the Program

The program is responsible for the following aspects of the educational environment and activities during the clinical phase of the program:

  • Ensure that the student has successfully completed all required components of the didactic year prior to beginning SCPE.
  • Provide SCPE placement for the student.
  • Provide SCPE-specific learning objectives and orientation materials to the preceptor and the student.
  • Provide the preceptor with instructions on how to access the Preceptor Evaluation of Student.
  • Provide malpractice insurance for the student.
  • Perform clinical site visits in accordance with clinical site visit policy.
  • Develop and maintain clinical site affiliation agreements.
  • Continue to develop new relationships with preceptors and clinical institutions.
    • If the student identifies a new/potential clinical preceptor, the student must provide the program with contact information via the Preceptor/Site Request Form (link located in Blackboard).
  • Work with the preceptor and site to provide a healthy and safe clinical learning environment.
  • Interact with the preceptor, site, and student to be available to respond to any problems or concerns.
  • Respond in a timely manner to concerns raised regarding student behavior or actions that directly or indirectly jeopardize the health, well-being, and/or safety of patients, faculty, clinical site staff, or fellow student.
    • If such behavior is demonstrated or reported, the program retains the right to remove the student from a SCPE immediately.
  • Require the student to be trained in HIPAA and OSHA instruction regarding the risk of exposure and post-exposure protocols.
  • Ensure the student is trained in site-specific protocols such as COVID-19.
  • Require the student to be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).
  • Obtain student feedback from the clinical preceptor and site.
  • Administer an End of Rotation TM (EOR) exam for all core SCPEs.
  • Assign a grade for the student after completion of the SCPE.
  • The program faculty, not the preceptor, is responsible for the final grade.

For more information about our Program or becoming a Preceptor, email [email protected]

  • Preceptor of the Year Award
    Description: Selected by the graduates for the teacher/faculty member who has had the greatest impact on the lives of the students in the graduating class.
  • Preceptor Spotlights
    Description: These are social medial posts made to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram spotlighting our preceptors. Preceptors are chosen at random and asked to complete a small questionnaire. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact [email protected].
  • Clinical Affiliate Faculty Information
    Description: Preceptor must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Primary preceptor of record for one (1) SCPE per year for two (2) consecutive clinical years.
    • Primary preceptor of record for two or more (2+) SCPEs in one (1) clinical year.

In order to qualify for Affiliate Clinical Faculty status, a primary preceptor may not have severed his or her relationship with the GWU PA Studies Program during the clinical year for which the status will be issued.

Preceptors who meet the criteria for Clinical Affiliate Faculty status are offered access to our world-class library database and UpToDate.

  • AAPA Category I CME credits
    In gratitude for their work training the next generation of PAs, the American Academy of PAs and the Physician Assistant Education Association have partnered to offer Category 1 CME credits to preceptors. PA preceptors may now earn a total of 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits per week for each PA student precepted. Each May, Gardner-Webb University will send out a survey for preceptors to claim their CME, and will send PAs a CME certificate once they respond to this survey.

NPs can often claim AAPA Category 1 CME credit as continuing education with AANPCB and ANCC. AAPA recommends that NPs check with their certification/licensing authority to confirm that AAPA credit is acceptable.

For more details, check out this link.

  • Category 1 CME for Precepting for Accredited PA Programs

    Definition: Through a partnership between PAEA and AAPA, ARC-PA accredited PA programs may submit an annual application to receive eligibility to award AAPA Category 1 CME to their PA preceptors.

    Individual preceptors may be awarded AAPA Category 1 CME credits at a rate of 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits per PA student per 40-hour week, with no limit.

    Accreditation Period: Up to 24 consecutive months. Clinical year start and end dates are specified within the application.

    Type of Credit Issued: AAPA Category 1 CME credit

    Eligibility Criteria

    This request type is only available to PA educational programs with full or provisional accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

    Eligibility for AAPA Category 1 CME credit is currently limited to preceptors who are practicing PAs.

    Preceptors must disclose any financial relationship with commercial interests to PA students.

    Preceptors must be fully licensed to practice at the clinical site where the training will occur.

    PA programs are responsible for having a mechanism in place to document credits awarded, issue certificates, and report summary statistics to AAPA.

    The preceptor CME activity must comply with AAPA CME Criteria.

    For more information, visit aapa.org.

  • NCCPA Category II CME credits
    NCCPA accepts for Category II credit any educational activity that relates to medicine, patient care or the role of the PA that has not been designated for Category I credit.

    Click here for more details.

  • Category II CME for MD/DO/NP
    Per AAFP, MDs can get credit for teaching, more details here.

    Can I get CME credit for teaching students?
    You may report credit for teaching health professions learners. However, a maximum of 60 AAFP Prescribed credits may be reported during a three-year re-election cycle. Teaching is also considered a live activity.

    For advanced practice nursing, a maximum of 120 Preceptor hours may be converted to CE credits for a maximum of 25 non-pharmacology CE credits.

  • AAPA Clinical Preceptor Recognition Program
    One of the most important ways you can help patients find and receive the best medical care is to help educate the next generation of PAs. AAPA recognizes the hard work of preceptors through its Clinical Preceptor Recognition Program, developed in cooperation with the PA Education Association (PAEA).

    Click here to start your online application.

  • Tax Incentive Program
    In Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, and Colorado, preceptors may earn tax incentives for teaching students. Ohio and Hawaii also have financial incentives for precepting.

    Explore details here.

  • How to Access Preceptor Resources in Typhon
    1. Navigate to the following website for logging in to the Typhon PAST system: https://typhongroup.net/
    2. Select Preceptor/EASI option under the Physician Assistant section:
    3. Input your login and password information as well as the Account # (7644)
    4. Once you click submit, you will be directed to your Preceptor Home page and will click on Preceptor Resources on the left-hand side of the screen
    5. After clicking on Preceptor Resources, the following screen should be available to you. From this screen you will be able to access Instructional Information, Preceptor Handbook, Student Handbook, and Updated Course Syllabi

Please contact [email protected] with any questions that may arise during this process.