Efficient and effective precepting of pharmacy students in acute and ambulatory care rotations: A Delphi expert panel study

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Abstract

Purpose

Using the Delphi process, a panel of experienced preceptors achieved consensus on best practices to increase preceptor efficiency and effectiveness.

Methods

The Delphi panelists completed 3 survey rounds and a face-to-face meeting. Survey questions covered several topics, including preparation of students for rotations, preceptor efficiency and effectiveness, potential resident contributions to precepting, methods of developing critical-thinking skills and providing assessment and feedback, precepting time metrics, and barriers to preceptor effectiveness. Panel consensus was defined as agreement of ≥80%.

Results

Fifteen of 36 invited preceptors (42%) completed all 3 survey rounds. The expert panel reached consensus on 6 essentials for effective rotations, 8 precepting contributions that could be made by appropriately trained residents, precepting barriers, 4 strategies for teaching critical thinking, and 5 valuable characteristics of the One Minute Preceptor model. Panelists reported on time spent with students presenting new patient cases (median, 10 minutes per case), time devoted to assessment of students' clinical performance (median, 22 minutes per student weekly), and time dedicated to student professional development (median, 20 minutes per student weekly).

Conclusion

Important strategies for preceptors identified by the panel included (1) a thorough orientation to logistics, expectations, and scheduling of activities, (2) using appropriately trained residents in student training, (3) providing opportunities for critical thinking and therapeutic decision-making, (4) giving frequent, quality feedback on clinical activities, and (5) giving feedback to learners on a regular basis.

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