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Two of my preceptors so far (separately) have informed me that they are not paid and that other programs are offering to pay them to preceptor students.

Is it normal for programs to not compensate preceptors? I realize they can get CME, however I am still paying full tuition (> $4500 per rotation) so just wondering what that goes toward if not part to preceptor.

I searched for past topics but hadn't seen much on this..

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I have been a preceptor for 10 years for multiple schools, hospitals, and specialities and I have never gotten paid. Most of my colleagues that are preceptors do not get paid. I have a few deals with schools where I would be a preceptor for their students and they would have me come in to give lectures/teach procedures, and in turn they would pay me 75-150/hr for the lecture, but nothing specifically for preceptor. Yes we do get CME but other than that it's pretty much teaching for the continued success of the profession. 

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The norm is NOT to compensate preceptors.  However, it is not unheard of.  Some of the newer programs or those that students have to set up their own rotations are more likely to find preceptors who request to be paid.  

If your program sets up your rotations/finds preceptors for you, you should talk to your school.  At the very least it is incredibly inappropriate for a preceptor to talk to you about being paid.

My program refuses to pay preceptors however if you find your own rotation, say for an elective, and the preceptor requests to be paid - the student would be responsible for it.  The program will not do it.  This is also something that is done up front.  Personally it feels a little...like a slippery slope to pay preceptors.  I'd rather have someone teaching me who genuinely wants to as opposed to someone who is just looking for extra cash.

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It may be rotation-specific or where schools find it hard to retain quality sites. For the school I precept for, they don't pay for elective rotations, but they do pay for core rotations.

I make sure that students know that I don't get paid. It's interesting to see the shift in attitude when they find out I'm doing this free and not the few thousand dollars they're paying the school.

Edited by Sed

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Speaking from the perspective of precepting students in an ED, initially not paid, now paid plus 2.5 yrs experience as clinical faculty placing students in the rotations.

Pay for sites is a tsunami across the PA education landscape. Realize that savvy programs and sponsoring institutions have been anticipating this for years. Those outright refusing to pay for rotations are not embracing reality. Plus the truth is that someone, somewhere is getting some sort of reimbursement indirectly or directly for having a student. The biggest change is with the individual preceptor that the students spend time with requiring payment. Clinics and facilities have been getting paid in some way or form, they don't have the disruption a student brings to the business of medicine get in the way of revenue stream. Clinicians that realize that a student takes a lot of time and effort done right and places a burden onto their already burdensome day, ask for recognition of this. Some want $, others some other tangible reward. Programs that do not recognize and get in front of this are placing their rotations in jeopardy. 

With a significant amount of new programs coming online, many without existing relationships with medical education networks, the preceptors that they are reaching out to are more likely going to request/require a stipend. There is realization that PA programs are a significant source of revenue for the sponsoring institution, not only in actual student tuition but the draw to the undergraduate population particularly if there is a 'pipeline' in place for enrolled undergrads to transition to program attendance. Given that preceptors bear the bulk of the instructing during clinical year as compared to faculty of the program during didactic year, having an expectation for compensation in some form seems matter of fact rather than the exception.

What compensating preceptors does enable is expectations the students get attention, instruction, direction and worthwhile assessment when on site. The moment money is accepted, the expectation of a service rendered is established. That means preceptors are implicit in the satisfactory outcomes for the student rather than just paying it forward. Programs can establish standards to be met and use that to justify stipends and also ensure accreditation needs are being satisfied.

George

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not a fan of paying preceptors, although a good friend of mine just became a program director in a tight market with other programs and plans to pay his. Something I have seen done is saying "we will not take students at this site until they have done a min of X other rotations". For EM, that is not a bad idea. I worked at a place that required students do surgery and FP before coming to the ER so that they had the basics of doing an H+P, suturing , etc under their belts. Having experienced students on board actually can help a dept because for minor procedures and fast track type of stuff the students can do the basic assessment,  present it with a confident "here is my plan" and the preceptor does a quick check in with the patient, ducks in during the procedures, but can manage their own pts at the same time. A good student can help the department. a really bad student is an anchor. I have had both. I used to hire a lot of the rock stars when I was a chief PA almost 20 years ago.

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