North Carolina AHEC Program
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Satisfaction, Motivation, and Future of Community Preceptors: What Are the Current Trends?

The August 2013 edition of Academic Medicine features a report on the overall satisfaction of community-based preceptors served by the NC AHEC Program. The authors of the report are Robyn Latessa, MD, Gaye Colvin, MLIS, Norma Beaty, MS, MAEd, Beat D. Steiner, MD, MPH, and Donald Pathman, MD, MPH. An excerpt and link to the full article appears below.

Community preceptors provide much of the outpatient clinical training of health professions students (medical, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and certified nurse midwife) yet often receive little or no direct compensation. Relying on community teachers has been a sustainable health education model because preceptors principally teach students for intrinsic reasons, most importantly the pure enjoyment of teaching. The current community teaching model may be at risk due to increased numbers of learners, economic pressures on practices, and productivity demands on clinicians. Nationally, the number of health professions schools and class sizes has increased, yielding ever more requests for student placements. In North Carolina, the number of students in community-based rotations increased from 2,046 learners in 2005 to 2,430 learners in 2011.

Of 2,359 preceptors contacted, 1,278 (54.2%) completed questionnaires. The data from 2011 did not differ significantly from the 2005 data. In 2011, respondents were satisfied with precepting (91.7%), anticipated continuing to precept for the next five years (88.7%), and were satisfied overall with their professional life (93.7%). Intrinsic reasons (e.g., enjoyment of teaching) remained an important motivation for teaching students. Physicians reported lower overall satisfaction with extrinsic incentives (e.g., monetary compensation) and felt more negativity about the influence of students on their practices.

Full article (pdf) here