SIU Department of Family and Community Medicine. PO Box 19671, Springfield, IL 62794-9671, 217-545-0200
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The preceptors who provide the educational opportunities for SIU School of Medicine students are an invaluable source to the future of our medical students. Students work with the Family & Community Medicine Assistant Director in selecting their preceptor prior to beginning their clerkship. Students are able to choose their preceptor from a list of family practice physicians selected by a defined set of criteria determined by the Department of Family & Community Medicine Medical Student Education faculty. The preceptors all retain a clinical faculty appointment with the School and are community physicians who have met the criteria and agree to provide a quality educational experience for the students. A site visit by the Department of Family & Community Medicine Medical Student Education faculty is done after the student has worked with the preceptor for two weeks to ensure that the student is exposed to appropriate ambulatory and hospital experience.

Students will spend approximately five weeks with a practicing family physician. Students will provide patient care in both the ambulatory and hospital setting under the direct supervision of the preceptor. Each student is expected to participate, as fully as possible, in the day-to-day activities of the preceptor.

During the preceptorship, students are expected to:

  • Work-up and follow patients assigned to them, by the preceptor, and function as the provider of health care under the supervision of the preceptor.
  • See patients initially by him/herself, introducing him/herself to the patient and explaining his/her purpose.
  • Perform appropriate focused history and physical based on the chief complaint, formulate a diagnosis, and plan further investigations and/or treatments.
  • For each patient, discuss findings and recommendations with the preceptor, who will then examine the patients to evaluate the student's findings.
  • Order appropriate tests and write prescriptions, with the preceptor's approval, and provide patient education when necessary.
  • Dictate or write the progress notes, in the appropriate format, at the completion of the patient's visit.
  • See the patient for follow-up, if a visit is scheduled while the student is still with the preceptor.
  • Accompany the preceptor to meetings, clinics, rounds, house calls, nursing homes, emergency rooms, and appropriate staff functions as well as be on-call with the preceptor.
  • Follow patients, if appropriate, who are referred to other professionals, such as counselors, or observe x-rays and other tests.
  • Perform admission histories and physicals on hospitalized patients, who are admitted from the office or emergency room, as directed by the preceptor and assist in the management of their care in the hospital, making daily progress notes.
  • Assist with, or perform, procedures on patients, in the office or hospital, under the preceptor's supervision.
  • NOT perform any activities, which can be construed as the actual practice of medicine, without the on-site presence and direction of the preceptor.
  • Act, at all times, with honesty and professionalism consistent with the dignity and reputation of the practice of medicine.
  • Keep the patient log current, daily, listing patient problems seen and procedures observed or performed.
  • Read and research pertinent topics/issues, on patient problems, as assigned by the preceptor and on his/her own.
It is required that the student keep a daily electronic log of their patient and learning interactions, during his/her preceptorship. The purpose of the logbook is to document the scope, variety, and number of patients the student has seen, in order to assess the appropriateness of his/her clinical experience. This log does not document the quality of the student's work: preceptors will evaluate that on an individual basis. However, in order to receive a final evaluation and pass the clerkship, the electronic logbook must be completed.

For more information concerning SIU School of Medicine's preceptor program, please contact:
Tracey Smith @


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