Objective: To identify specific preceptor teaching-coaching, role modeling, and facilitating behaviors valued by pharmacy students and to develop measures of those behaviors that can be used for an experiential education quality assurance program.
Methods: Using a qualitative research approach, we conducted a thematic analysis of student comments about excellent preceptors to identify behaviors exhibited by those preceptors. Identified behaviors were sorted according to the preceptor's role as role model, teacher/coach, or learning facilitator; measurable descriptors for each behavior were then developed.
Results: Data analysis resulted in identification of 15 measurable behavior themes, the most frequent being: having an interest in student learning and success, making time for students, and displaying a positive preceptor attitude. Measureable descriptors were developed for 5 role-modeling behaviors, 6 teaching-coaching behaviors, and 4 facilitating behaviors.
Conclusion: Preceptors may need to be evaluated in their separate roles as teacher-coach, role model, and learning facilitator. The developed measures in this report could be used in site quality evaluation.
Keywords: clinical clerkship; experiential learning; pharmacy education; preceptorship; qualitative research.