Faculty development for busy and geographically dispersed ambulatory preceptors is a difficult task for course directors.PURPOSE
A faculty development audiotape intended for playing in the preceptor's car was created. The feasibility of this form of faculty development was tested in this pilot study.METHODS
A short audiotape, focusing on strategies for the provision of independence to students in the office setting, was made and distributed to all preceptors of students taking a fourth-year required clerkship in ambulatory medicine. Preceptor behavior was reported by students on postclerkship evaluations before and after tape distribution.RESULTS
In the year before tape distribution, 21% of evaluations indicated a lack of independence on the part of the student, compared with 14% in the year following the intervention (P=.03). There was no regression of behavior among preceptors already providing independence. Among the preceptors initially identified as not following recommendations for student independence, the percentage of evaluations indicating a lack of independence went from 72% preintervention to 42% postintervention (P<.001).CONCLUSIONS
A short audiotape is a novel form of faculty development, which was acceptable to preceptors and may influence teaching behavior in the desired manner.