Jan 12, 2016
35
8
Status
Pharmacist
As I'm moving towards receiving my teaching certificate and becoming a future preceptor, I'm curious of what other people liked about their preceptors or disliked? I know that a lot of it depends on the student, but is wondering what your personal caveats were?
 

lane one

2+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2016
375
430
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Pharmacist
Ambulatory, inpatient, and retail. I am a resident at an ambulatory and inpatient setting, but also work retail.
In that case I would say don't pawn all of your work off on your students. Had a couple preceptors that did that and It drove me nuts. 6 patients for clinic that morning and she gives me 5 of them, if one of my patient's no shows? Guess what I get her one and only patient as well. Students are there to learn, not be worked to death and taken advantage of.
 

RxVampire

PharmDruggist
2+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2015
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Likes: having some autonomy, regular feedback & motivation for improvement, collaboration, focus on the drugs & how they affect the disease state/syndrome/symptoms

Neutral: might be valuable to go over the boring stuff that is still essential...regulatory records, paperwork, documentation, etc.

Dislikes: being a personal work horse secretary, going over pharmacy practice stuff like "professionalism"
 

Niosh

7+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2010
299
182
Iowa
Status
Pharmacist
In that case I would say don't pawn all of your work off on your students. Had a couple preceptors that did that and It drove me nuts. 6 patients for clinic that morning and she gives me 5 of them, if one of my patient's no shows? Guess what I get her one and only patient as well. Students are there to learn, not be worked to death and taken advantage of.
I had a preceptor do that sort of thing too. I didn't mind that much. It did give me quite the real-world experience though so that was nice. Kind of trial by fire.

The one thing I didn't like was getting tech work. I do plenty now as a pharmacist and I don't care at all about doing it. But as a student I was there to learn and experience a different setting. I don't need to be counting pills and unpacking drugs. It's better than doing nothing I suppose, but it was still boring.
 

hye345

10+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2006
988
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Northern California
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Pharmacist
Make sure your expectations are made clear in terms of schedule. My retail rotation was at an independent pharmacy, and through email, my preceptor told me that as long as I do 40 hours/week, I could come and go as I pleased. The pharmacy was open from 9-6, so I figured I would come in at 9 and leave at 5. Everyday, I asked the preceptor (at around 5 or so) if I could take off, he would always say yeah; never gave any kind of vibe that he wanted me to stay more, or that he was disappointed or anything. Then, on my midpoint evaluation, he wrote that I was consistently leaving 1 hour before the pharmacy closed. This to me seemed disingenuous.

At another (clinical) rotation, the preceptor would have us come in the morning at round 9AM, round with the medical team until around 11 or so, then meet with him at around 1. About half the time however, he would text us maybe 30 minutes before meeting time, saying that he was running late by a couple hours, so we would have to wait; furthermore, several times, he would text us a few hours later, saying that we weren't meeting today. Not complaining, because that just meant that we had 3+ hour lunches and whatnot, but looking back, it was so much wasted time...
 
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BenJammin

No Apologies
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Jun 29, 2011
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Make sure your expectations are made clear in terms of schedule. My retail rotation was at an independent pharmacy, and through email, my preceptor told me that as long as I do 40 hours/week, I could come and go as I pleased. The pharmacy was open from 9-6, so I figured I would come in at 9 and leave at 5. Everyday, I asked the preceptor (at around 5 or so) if I could take off, he would always say yeah; never gave any kind of vibe that he wanted me to stay more, or that he was disappointed or anything. Then, on my midpoint evaluation, he wrote that I was consistently leaving 1 hour before the pharmacy closed. This to me seemed disingenuous.

At another (clinical) rotation, the preceptor would have us come in the morning at round 9AM, round with the medical team until around 11 or so, then meet with him at around 1. About half the time however, he would text us maybe 30 minutes before meeting time, saying that he was running late by a couple hours, so we would have to wait; furthermore, several times, he would text us a few hours later, saying that we weren't meeting today. Not complaining, because that just meant that we had 3+ hour lunches and whatnot, but looking back, it was so much wasted time...
I really hope you ripped him a new one on the evaluation. I'm lucky to precept for a school who takes preceptor AND student evaluations very seriously. We were graded on our P4 rotations so we have letter grades on our transcript. Part of my evaluation was in regard to patient population and ethnic/financial hardships. Well we don't deal with that as a staff pharmacist in hospital so instead of getting n/a I got all 1s which dropped me from an A to a C. You better believe I tore my preceptor up in that evaluation. I remember saying, probably word for word "His lack of understanding of the evaluation sheet along with his reluctance to be a mentor during my rotation makes this a rotation I regret selecting. I feel bad for students who will rotate through this site in the future.". Did I get a call from the school? No. Email from the preceptor? No. It was a garbage rotation.
 
Aug 18, 2016
5
0
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Pharmacist
I remember I had an acute care APPE rotation at an adult psychiatric unit and had to check-in for morning rounds at 5 am while my preceptor strolled in close to 10 am. It was difficult in the beginning without the leading hand of a preceptor, although she did provide a very specific hour to hour, 6-week schedule. Of course before I recommended any kind of therapeutic decision I had to run it by her via text or phone call which was kind of annoying, too. The attendings were nice and let me shadow them on alternate days while my preceptor was "away".
 
OP
DrNyvia
Jan 12, 2016
35
8
Status
Pharmacist
Thanks for the replies! All are extremely helpful as I oversee future students. Definitely won't pawn off my work to them and will definitely make meetings times/give a heads up before missing meetings.
 

lord999

Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
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Won't repeat the excellent advice above, but you should also get the "boring" things right:
1. Understand your practice's work environment and HR policy/practices. Being "that a$$hole preceptor" might even cut it for a teaching hospital (my University one actually has a couple of those personalities). Any one of those stereotypical antics (yelling at an intern/resident that you can hear them outside the office, demanding "unreasonable" (by the standards of the practice) work ethic, physically touching anyone in an aggressive manner) is going to get you at least a Notice of Contact in the Civil Service and referral to the US Attorney in egregious cases (assault).

2. Get your paperwork (evals, grading) for the University or your Practice done on actionable time for the students. Particularly if you have criticism, you have to make the intern/resident aware such that they can have to opportunity to correct. An educational opportunity is one where a student can survive their mistake and redeem themselves practicing better (and both criteria apply: "survive and redeem"). If you expect perfection always, either you're not paying good attention, the student is learning despite you, or your standards are not realistic.

3. Act toward them like an interested senior colleague to a junior that someday you may someday report to or replace you. You'd be surprised at who actually becomes chief and supervisor, I certainly have (the least resident I had turned out to be a decent pharmacy chief although unsuitable for technical positions). In the course of your career, it's quite likely that one of your students will rise above you to be in a position of power. Now, what do you think happens if you've been a jerk to them when they've been your students? In all but one position I've held, my own fellow or resident replaced me. I expect that or comparable for my current positions.

And since you're VA at the moment, you should make it a point to learn from your site's mistakes. There are some well-managed sites (VA Long Beach) and there's some notorious sites (VA Portland). If you're at a notorious site, there's especially good ways to learn about how you don't want to get things done around you real practice someday.
 
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OP
DrNyvia
Jan 12, 2016
35
8
Status
Pharmacist
Won't repeat the excellent advice above, but you should also get the "boring" things right:
1. Understand your practice's work environment and HR policy/practices. Being "that a$$hole preceptor" might even cut it for a teaching hospital (my University one actually has a couple of those personalities). Any one of those stereotypical antics (yelling at an intern/resident that you can hear them outside the office, demanding "unreasonable" (by the standards of the practice) work ethic, physically touching anyone in an aggressive manner) is going to get you at least a Notice of Contact in the Civil Service and referral to the US Attorney in egregious cases (assault).

2. Get your paperwork (evals, grading) for the University or your Practice done on actionable time for the students. Particularly if you have criticism, you have to make the intern/resident aware such that they can have to opportunity to correct. An educational opportunity is one where a student can survive their mistake and redeem themselves practicing better (and both criteria apply: "survive and redeem"). If you expect perfection always, either you're not paying good attention, the student is learning despite you, or your standards are not realistic.

3. Act toward them like an interested senior colleague to a junior that someday you may someday report to or replace you. You'd be surprised at who actually becomes chief and supervisor, I certainly have (the least resident I had turned out to be a decent pharmacy chief although unsuitable for technical positions). In the course of your career, it's quite likely that one of your students will rise above you to be in a position of power. Now, what do you think happens if you've been a jerk to them when they've been your students? In all but one position I've held, my own fellow or resident replaced me. I expect that or comparable for my current positions.

And since you're VA at the moment, you should make it a point to learn from your site's mistakes. There are some well-managed sites (VA Long Beach) and there's some notorious sites (VA Portland). If you're at a notorious site, there's especially good ways to learn about how you don't want to get things done around you real practice someday.
Very sound advice! Thank you!
 

Dred Pirate

5+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2014
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1 set up expectations clear and concise at the beginning of the month - make any deadlines clearly evident and firm
2 feedback at least once a week - don't sugar coat it, but don't be an a$$ - just be honest.
3. don't pawn off only busy work, but also don't dump them with things that can harm a patient
4 start and slow and ramp up based on ability - (take one patient on day one, and slowly work up to approx 75% of a rph load by the end of the month
5. If they are not meeting expectations - let them now stat, don't wait until eval - then you failed as well
 
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ldiot

2+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2015
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Miami, FL
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Resident [Any Field]
As I'm moving towards receiving my teaching certificate and becoming a future preceptor, I'm curious of what other people liked about their preceptors or disliked? I know that a lot of it depends on the student, but is wondering what your personal caveats were?
Just don't give useless busywork. A lot of them just pawn you off with a tech doing mind numbing tasks. I literally went to one rotation and spent 4 hours pressing a button on a machine. Not running the machine... literally pressing a single button to seal each script into a blister pack. It actually made retail look like a party.
 
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