Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program

Information for Clinical Preceptors

A large part of the success of the Northwestern Physician Assistant Program is its strong clinical experiences. We could not provide this excellent education without the expertise, time and compassion of our clinical preceptors. This page provides information for our preceptors, from those new to this process to our seasoned educators.

 NU PA Program Overview

The Northwestern PA Program is comprised of 24 months of learning. The first 12 are dedicated to didactic learning, and the second 12 months are focused on clinical experiences. We have 11 four-week rotations that include seven core rotations (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery and Women's Health) and four elective rotations.

 Our Students

We have a cohort of 36 students each year. Our students have a diverse amount of healthcare experiences and traditionally excel in their clinical rotations. See our Courses page for detailed information about our classes.

 Preceptor Expectations

We accept preceptors from all specialties and locations. Preceptors may be physicians(MD/DO) or physician assistants and must be licensed and board certified in their area of expertise. Clinical experiences must provide enough hours, patient contact hours and experiences as deemed in line with the program expectations.

Professional Development & Recognition

 Category I CME for PA Preceptors

The Northwestern PA Program has been granted permission to offer Category I CME credit to our PA Preceptors. See below for a summary of the process:

  1. The PA Program may award 0.5 AAPA Category I CME credit for each two (2) weeks of clinical teaching. Example: four-week rotation= 1 credit. One week = 40 hours.
  2. If a preceptor has more than one student at a time, that preceptor may be awarded an additional 0.25 CME I credit for each additional student for each two weeks of teaching. Example: four-week rotation for two students = 1.50 credit.
  3. A maximum of 10 Category I CME credits per calendar year can be awarded to each preceptor.
  4. Preceptors are encouraged to keep track of their hours during the year and these will be reconciled with program records to ensure accuracy.
  5. The preceptor must complete a Preceptor Reporting and Evaluation Form (PDF) and email it to elana.min1@northwestern.edu before June each year.
  6. Upon receipt of the completed evaluation form, the program will send you a certificate awarding the Category I CME credits. 

 Category II CME

The time our preceptors spend educating our students can also be reported by the preceptor to NCCPA as Category II credits on an hour-by-hour basis and does not require documentation from the PA Program (four-week rotation = 160 hours; eight-week rotation = 320 hours).

 AAPA Clinical Preceptor Recognition Program

The Physician Assistant Education Association and American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) offer formal recognition of your efforts through the Clinical Preceptor Recognition Program. Join this program and add the designation Clinical Preceptor AAPA after your name (CPAAPA). Eligibility requirements are summarized below and the online application may be found here.

Requirements:

  • Be a current AAPA fellow or sustaining member
  • Have served as a preceptor for at least eight weeks on average for the last two years
  • Be endorsed by a PA program(s) that you have supported as a preceptor.

If you meet the above requirements and are interested in applying, please email the Northwestern PA Program at elana.min1@northwestern.edu to request the completed endorsement.  

 Clinical Faculty Appointments

The Northwestern PA Program offers clinical faculty appointments for our eligible clinical preceptors. Factors for consideration for eligibility include: dedication and commitment as a clinical educator, evaluations and longevity of service to the program. If you are interested in receiving more information about these opportunities, please contact elana.min1@northwestern.edu.

Preceptor Orientation Handbook

 PAEA Preceptor Orientation Handbook

The Northwestern PA Program is comprised of 24 months of learning.  The first 12 are dedicated to didactic learning with the second 12 months focused on clinical experiences.  We have 11, four week rotations which include seven core rotations (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery and Women’s Health) and four elective rotations.

 NU PA Program Clinical Year Handbook

The Northwestern PA Program also has a Clinical Year Handbook specific to our program's need. If you are interested in becoming a preceptor or are already a preceptor and would like a copy, please contact elana.min1@northwestern.edu.

Other Program Opportunities

If you are interested in helping out the Northwestern PA Program in any other capacity such as teaching, labs, professional days, interviewing or serving as a PBL tutor, we would love to have you. Please contact jeremiah.peterson@northwestern.edu.

Class of 2018, White Coat Ceremony

Preceptor James Pecard, MMS, PA-C with Devyn Parnes, PAS-2

Preceptor of the Year

Each year, the clinical year students recognize a preceptor for outstanding work.

This year's award went to Northwestern PA Program Class of 2015 Alumnus, Gianna Dazzo, MS, PA-C.

Gianna began precepting shortly after she graduated. She works as a hospitalist at Lake Forest Hospital and provides inpatient internal medicine clinical experiences for our students. Congratulations, Gianna!

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