Community preceptor program

The SIU Department of Family & Community Medicine’s Community Preceptor Program began in 1981 and now includes over 160 board-certified family physicians. Preceptors serve an invaluable role in the education of medical students by providing an opportunity to use medical knowledge in a rural or urban office setting under the supervision of a family physician. As clinical faculty members with SIU, preceptors are community physicians who have met the established criteria and have agreed to provide a four week educational experience for students. Students assist in patient care in both the ambulatory and hospital setting under the direct supervision of the preceptor, participating as fully as possible in day-to-day activities such as office procedures, night call, nursing home and home visits, business meetings and conferences and various other activities in which the preceptor may participate.

The Community Preceptor Program is an integral part of the curriculum. The preceptors highlight the important role that family physicians contribute to meeting the healthcare demands of the future and in the training of medical students. Most importantly, the preceptors provide medical students with a longitudinal view of the elements of a Patient-Centered Medical Home.

Community Preceptor requirements
To be eligible to participate in the Family & Community Medicine Preceptorship, physicians must:

  • be board certified in Family practice;
  • be in full-time practice;
  • have been in practice in present location for at least one year;
  • practice in Illinois;
  • have a well-rounded family practice. Physicians whose practices consist of special populations (i.e. chemically dependent, geriatrics or developmentally disabled patients) will not be eligible;
  • adhere to preceptorship guidelines, including required learning activities for students, evaluation components, and administrative procedures such as site visits.

Community Preceptor objectives
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 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.

Students will spend approximately four 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.
  • 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 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 an 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:
Dr. Christopher L. Gleason

Family medicine preceptor program

Community preceptor resources

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)

  • Clinical Information
  • Funding opportunities

American Academy of Family Physicians

  • AAFP journals
  • Family Practice Management journals
  • CME center for online CME

American Geriatrics Society

  • Clinical Practice
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Patient Education

American Medical Association (AMA)

  • What is going on with AMA
  • Professional Resources
  • CME
  • Practice Management Tools
  • Public Health Information

Association of American Medical Colleges

  • “What is going on with AAMC”
  • Resources of interest for your student
  • Focus on Issues
  • Job Center
  • Professional Development Groups

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

  • Immunization recommendations
  • Traveler’s recommendations

Illinois Academy of Family Physicians

  • Family Physician Newsletter
  • Area and online CME
  • Calendar of events
  • Physician Resources
  • News and Publications
  • Legislative Advocacy

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

  • Dictionary of Cancer Terms
  • Cancer Drug Treatment Dictionary
  • Cancer Patient Information in Spanish
  • Answers to cancer related questions through on line chat

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

National Library of Medicine's MEDLINEplus

  • Health Topics search engine
  • Drugs and Herbal medications search engines

Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

  • Faculty Development
  • On line Medical Journals
  • Resources for Patient Care
  • Office-based Teacher
  • The Teaching Physician