Preceptors' perspectives on benefits of precepting student pharmacists to students, preceptors, and the profession

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2006 Sep-Oct;46(5):605-12. doi: 10.1331/1544-3191.46.5.605.skrabal.


Objectives: To educate pharmacists on the shortage of quality preceptors and the benefits received from precepting; present insights from successful preceptors and offer guidance to current and prospective preceptors; and encourage pharmacists to become preceptors and mentor aspiring pharmacy professionals.

Setting: Advanced experiential settings for Nova Southeastern, Ohio Northern, and Creighton Universities. PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS: Hospital, community, and outpatient clinic settings.

Practice innovation: Successful incorporation of student pharmacists and the experiential process into pharmacy practice.

Main outcome measure: Not applicable.

Results: A variety of factors has produced an increased demand for qualified pharmacist preceptors, including workload issues, an increasing number of pharmacy schools, and an increased experiential load in the pharmacy school curricula. Characteristics of quality preceptors include demonstrating enthusiasm in their teaching, being open to questions, and providing constructive feedback. Sites and preceptors can benefit from teaching student pharmacists by receiving assistance in developing and maintaining clinical services, sensing the satisfaction of giving back to the profession, and material rewards provided by schools of pharmacy. In this article, three successful preceptors share their perspectives and insights about precepting, and a professional organization perspective is included to highlight the support for precepting student pharmacists.

Conclusion: Additional introductory and advanced quality pharmacy experiential practice sites are needed, and pharmacists are encouraged to contact nearby pharmacy schools to become preceptors.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Pharmacy*
  • Preceptorship*
  • Students, Pharmacy*