Contemporary teaching strategies of exemplary community preceptors— is technology helping?

Stephen M. Scott, Kar En E. Schifferdecker, David Anthony, Jason Chao, Alexander W. Chessman, Katherine Margo, Martha Seagrave, Shou Ling Leong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Many schools rely upon community preceptors for office-based education of medical students. These preceptors struggle to balance clinical care with the learning needs of students. We aim to gain a deeper understanding of the teaching rewards and challenges of current community preceptors. METHODS: Five schools’ family medicine clerkship directors conducted in-depth interviews of two exemplary preceptors at each of their programs. Following qualitative analysis of the interviews, three directors conducted one focus group at their school. The individual and group interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using grounded theory. RESULTS: Exemplary community preceptors described strategies to improve the learning environment and specific teaching approaches. Well-known teaching strategies such as role modeling, adjusting instruction to the learner’s needs, and selecting patients appropriate for a specific student were used. They also described newer techniques such as co-learning and integrating technology, for example, accessing online, current practice guidelines together with the student. They detailed challenges to teaching, including time constraints and too much content to cover and provided advice about teaching tools. CONCLUSIONS: While challenged by clinical demands, preceptors enjoyed teaching and found it rewarding. They used time-proven teaching strategies as well as technology and online resources to facilitate ambulatory teaching. Community preceptors continue to struggle to integrate learners and the priorities of the medical school curriculum into the clinical environment. Further development of electronic tools and other resources to support the teaching needs of preceptors may contribute to learning and help minimize preceptor burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-782
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Volume46
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

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