Reactions of family medicine community preceptors to teaching medical students

R. P. Usatine, C. S. Hodgson, E. T. Marshall, D. W. Whitman, S. J. Slavin, M. S. Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: In 1993, the University of California, Los Angeles introduced an interdisciplinary course called 'Doctoring' for all first-year medical students in which students visited family physicians' offices once a month for a total of four visits. The study's objectives were to ascertain preceptors' attitudes about having students in their offices and determine if this experience resulted in professional growth. Method: A survey was mailed to the 101 preceptors recruited to teach in the 'Doctoring' course. Thirty of the respondents were selected randomly for a follow-up telephone interview. In addition, a second survey was mailed to the 31 preceptors who chose not to participate in the course the following year. Results: More than 75% of the preceptors surveyed reported that the medical students had positive effects on their patients' satisfaction with their care. However, interviews with some respondents revealed worries about balancing time with the student vs maintaining a busy practice. Preceptors reported professional growth in the teaching process and greater knowledge and skills in the specific medical content areas of the 'Doctoring' course. Preceptors who did not participate in the course during the subsequent year reported that their decision was based on issues other than satisfaction with the course. Conclusions: Based on the results of the study, preceptors experience professional growth through students' direct presence in their offices. Time management while precepting is the greatest challenge reported by preceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-570
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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