Our mission at Clinical Preceptor Rescue is to connect students with the best practitioners and set them up for successful rotations. Part of ensuring a successful rotation is knowing how to behave before, during and after your clinical. No matter what type of rotation you need, professional etiquette is essential to getting the most out of your time with the preceptor.

Preceptors are often extremely busy as they are seeing patients and, in many cases, running their own practices. They do not check their emails often and if they do, they receive hundreds of emails and many fall through the cracks.  We always advise students to call their preceptor in order to introduce themselves, get the paperwork started and discuss the rotation schedule. Speaking on the phone has consistently proven to be the most effective and efficient way to get the ball rolling for your rotation.

It is equally important to maintain communication with the preceptor in the weeks leading up to your start date. As stated above, preceptors are very busy and are inundated with various tasks. They do not have the capacity to make sure you start your rotation on time or get your paperwork completed, so that is something you must be on top of. There is a fine line between being persistent and being pushy, but if you do not hear from your preceptor, we always advise to either continue calling or physically go to their site.

Once you begin your clinical, always be sure to be respectful, hard-working and willing to learn.  We do pay an honorarium to preceptors,  however, preceptors are taking the time to teach because they want to help students,  the honorarium does not  fully compensate them for the true value and time they provide to students. Make sure you only attempt to contact them during normal business hours and assist them in any way that they need when in the office.

Once you complete your rotation, be sure to thank the preceptor for taking the time to teach you and for opening their office to students. It is always a good idea to send a thank-you note to them as a gesture of gratitude.  Preceptors are more likely to  continue teaching students if they know their help is appreciated. 

The number of students who need preceptors increases every year and the number of willing preceptors does not grow at the same rate.  Especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, available preceptors are incredibly difficult to find. We are so thankful for all of our wonderful preceptors and are honored to help students achieve their professional goals.