Primary Care Summer Preceptorship Program

The Washington University School of Medicine Primary Care Preceptorship Program is an eight-week clinical experience for students who have completed the first year of our curriculum.

Goals

  • To encourage and support students considering primary care careers
  • To provide opportunities to see what this form of practice is like firsthand
  • Provide opportunities to learn a few clinical pearls and a great deal about patient/physician relationships

Specialty Choices

The entire eight-week period may be served in one office, particularly if there are several preceptors in the same practice, or two four-week experiences. Exposure to non-physician members of the health care team, including nurses, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, dietitians, and occupational or physical therapists in a primary care setting may also be valuable. Students may spend some time shadowing physicians in other fields such as obstetrics and gynecology or surgery, but the focus of the preceptorship program is clearly primary care.

Program Structure

  • Eight weeks of preceptorship with primary care physician or physician group; may subset into two four-week rotations
  • Preceptorships totaling less than eight weeks will be considered, but eight-week preceptorships will be given preference in the selection process
  • Preceptorship must be done in the United States
  • Primary care is defined as internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics
  • Initially, students may focus on speaking with patients and observing the preceptor; as the summer progresses, patient contact and patient care responsibility should gradually increase.

Selecting a Preceptor

Students are required to initiate contact with potential preceptors in the fields of internal medicine, pediatrics or family practice.

  1. Decide where you would like to spend your summer, what sort of patient population you would like to see, and in which primary care field.
  2. Choose a primary care preceptor anywhere in the country, using the following resources:
    • List of previous preceptors from Office of Student Affairs
    • List of alumni who have indicated interest. Download PDF or contact Jana Holstein at 935-9694 or email: jholstein@wustl.edu
    • POM preceptors
    • Your own hometown physician or one of his/her colleagues

Application Process

  1. Request an application from Chris Mossinghoff (314-362-4658 or cmossinghoff@wustl.edu).
  2. Complete the application by 2/17/14; late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  3. Submit a letter from preceptor agreeing to host student.By mail to:
    Lisa Moscoso, MD
    Campus Box 8077
    660 S. Euclid Ave.
    St Louis, MO 63110Fax to: Chris Mossinghoff at 314-362-4658Email to: cmossinghoff@wustl.edu

Students will be notified by March 10, 2014. Usually adequate funds are available to cover all applications.

Stipend

Students receive a stipend of $3,600 for eight weeks. NOTE: Students will be paid on the last business day of the month in June and July depending on when preceptorship was started.

Evaluation

At the conclusion of the preceptorship, we will provide preceptors a brief questionnaire to submit regarding the student’s performance. Students attend a group debriefing in September.

Insurance

The School of Medicine provides liability and malpractice insurance for students during the preceptorship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my preceptor send the letter of support directly to Dr. Moscoso either by email or fax?
A: Yes, or send it to Chris Mossinghoff at cmossinghoff@wustl.edu.

Q: My preceptor has some days off. Can I work with one of her colleagues on those days or could I use those days for other shadowing experiences (i.e. Planned Parenthood, Clown Docs, see surgeries, etc.)?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the preceptorship have to be eight weeks for me to apply for the stipend? Is four weeks enough? I have a summer preceptor lined up for four weeks and she is wondering if there is paperwork that she has to do.
A: First priority will be given to those students seeking eight weeks. Most years there is enough funding to cover the four-week slots too, but it is not a guarantee. Dr. Moscoso needs a brief note from the preceptor stating that they have agreed to have you in the office for however many weeks the plan is.

Q: The application says that the letter of support from the doctor needs to arrive by Feb. 17 (due date). I will have my application submitted by then but I do not know how long it will take the doctor to send in the letter of support. Is that date flexible or do I need to have the letter sent right away? What address should I have the letter sent to?
A: The letter from the preceptor is due on Feb. 17 (due date) and can be emailed to Chris Mossinghoff at cmossinghoff@wustl.edu or sent via regular mail to Lisa Moscoso at: Campus Box 8077, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. The deadline is firm—it is not fair to others who have gotten their applications in on time to delay the date, which delays the date by which accepted students can be notified.

Q: I was wondering about the type of doctor I will be allowed to follow. Do they have to be just internal medicine or could they be internal medicine and cardiology, for example? I have a list of doctors that are willing to have me but some are internal medicine and something else.
A: The idea is for you to be learning primary care. Some internists do mostly general medicine with a little extra cardiology, which is fine; others are cardiologists who happen to do a little general medicine on their cardiac patients. This is not what the program is designed for. The only way to be sure about the physician’s practice is to simply ask what percent is general medicine. Anything 50% or more will be OK.

Q: Is it OK if the duration of the summer primary care preceptorship is six weeks instead of eight weeks?
A: Yes, you may apply for six weeks. Dean Moscoso will fund the eight-week slots first, but there is usually enough money to cover everyone.

Q: Is it OK for my preceptor to email or fax her letter of support?
A: Yes. Please fax to 314-362-4658 or email to Chris Mossinghoff at cmossinghoff@wustl.edu.