Effectively including a preclinical student into your practice will take some advanced preparation.

Provide your student with a workspace

Your preclinical student will need at minimum a chair where they can put their books, lab coat and where they can sit and read if there is down time. Will the student sit in your office? Is there a colleague’s desk space that the student can borrow while he/she is in the office? Will the student have computer access? Will the student have access to an in-office medical library?

Prepare your staff for the student

Your ancillary staff play an important part in making the preceptorship experience fit in your busy clinic day. If you work with a particular medical assistant or nurse, let them know the days and times that the student is planning to be in your office. Some background information on the student may also be helpful to your staff such as their year in medical school. When they room your patients, they can screen them to see if they would like to help participate in the education of a medical student. You may also ask your staff to help orient the student to your office. If you choose to inform your patients of the student’s presence by hanging a sign in your waiting room, a front desk staff member may take this responsibility. Your front desk staff may also help prepare your patients for the student’s presence by informing them that a student will be working with you when they call to confirm the patient’s appointment.

Plan the student’s orientation to your office

You may decide to ask your office manager, your nurse or your ancillary staff to help with part or all of the student’s orientation to your office. A brief orientation with a tour of the facility and introductions to key employees (MAs, lab tech, receptionists) is suggested. The orientation may include information on your practice and the patients served. You may also include information on patient flow within the clinic and office routines and methods. The orientation can be arranged with the student before patient care hours.

Set aside time to discuss the student’s and your goals for the preceptorship

Finding out your student’s expectations for this preceptorship will make the experience more enjoyable for both the student and for you. The student should bring with them the Learning Plan form to your first meeting. This form is a platform for you and the student to use to discuss goals and objectives for the preceptorship. If possible, schedule a 15- minute block of time to talk over the form with the student. This time should also be used for you to outline your goals for the preceptorship and any dress or scheduling expectations you may have with the student. During this time, let the student know if there are any opportunities outside of the clinic for them to see patients with you. Students often appreciate being included in Labor and Delivery, hospital, nursing home and ER rounds. You can choose to have the student come before patient scheduled hours to discuss the form.

Malpractice Insurance Coverage

All students in officially sponsored University of Washington teaching activities are covered by a blanket malpractice policy. As Family Medicine 501 is an approved School of Medicine elective, students are indemnified under the program for adverse outcomes in medical care arising from the student’s participation. Preceptors are indemnified as well for adverse outcomes in medical care related to their teaching responisibilities. All preceptors must also be indemnified by their own or practice’s policy.


All University of Washington medical students are trained and certified on current HIPAA rules and regulations during their first year orientation

Student Injuries and Accidental Exposures

University of Washington medical students who participate in this course must follow the Procedure Following Occupational Exposure to Blood/Body Fluids. Immediate exposure evaluation and care is covered by the Medical School. If an exposure or accident occurs while the student is working with you. provide immediate first aid and call Employee Health (206) 598- 4848 or the UW Emergency Department (206) 598-4000.

Clinical Faculty Appointments

All preceptors who participate in Family Medicine 501 are appointed as Clinical Preceptors in the Department of Family Medicine. Preceptors can apply to be appointed to Clinical Instructor status. As a Clinical Instructor, preceptors will have access to discounts on sporting and cultural events at the UW and online access to the UW Library’s Healthlinks toolkit, which includes such databases as UpToDate and MD Consult. For more general information on Clinical faculty ranks and appointments, please refer to Section VI of this manual.

CME Hours

All preceptors may report up to 20 hours of student precepting time as AAFP prescribed CME credit. See the AAFP web site for further information.