Nicholas M. Hudak, MPA, MSEd, PA-C, is an assistant professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, and clinical coordinator for the Duke University Physician Assistant Program, Durham, North Carolina.
Betsy Melcher, MS, MHS, PA-C, ATC, is an assistant professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, and academic coordinator for the Duke University Physician Assistant Program, Durham, North Carolina.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Nicholas M. Hudak, MPA, MSEd, PA-C, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, DUMC Box 104780, Durham, NC 27710. Telephone: (919) 681-3254; Email: Nick.Hudak@duke.edu
The author declares no conflict of interest.
Purpose: This study describes (1) preceptors' perceptions of interprofessional encounters that PA students had at clinical sites and (2) ways that the preceptors report evaluating the PA students' interprofessional practice skills.
Methods: This study disseminated a single electronic survey of clinical preceptors who were affiliated with an accredited PA program. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results.
Results: Of 195 preceptors, 66 completed the survey. Practice specialties of respondents and nonrespondents were similar. Preceptors indicated that PA students had frequent interactions with a wide variety of health professionals and students. These interactions occurred with greater frequency in specialty settings and academic medical centers than in other settings. Preceptors reported that they assess interprofessional practice competencies, although many were not familiar with the definitions that the health care profession has endorsed.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that educators may identify specific clinical sites or settings that are more optimal for interprofessional education interventions and that focused preceptor development may encourage deliberate assessment of students' interprofessional practice competencies.