5 Simple Ways to Be a Star Pharmacy Preceptor

AUGUST 04, 2016
Through observing your expertise, students gain practical pharmacy experience they’ll use in the near future.
Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned preceptor, there’s always room to enhance your rotation. As a former preceptor, I’d like to offer 5 tips for your pharmacy rotations.

1. Create a Rotation Manual and Calendar
It’s always important for pharmacy students to have clear expectations for their rotations. Create a rotation manual with clear learning objectives, assignments, site policies and procedures, and due dates. The calendar will enable everyone to keep track of the rotation.

If you split your time between a practice site and university, it’s important to outline this information in the rotation manual. The first day of your rotation can serve as an orientation, and always remember to ask the students if they have any questions.
I recommend creating time in students’ rotation to work on assignments. Library time enables them to research drug information questions and work on case presentations. This will help minimize the amount of work students must complete outside of the rotation.

2. Inspire Students
Set out each day to inspire your students and lead by example. If your students don’t know the answer to a question, don’t ever embarrass them. Rotations are a time for learning, so the best response is, “Why don’t you research this and give us a response tomorrow.” This provides students the opportunity to research a drug information question and gain the confidence of presenting their response to the preceptor and other rotation students.
Students are automatically nervous when you ask them questions, so it’s important to teach and not intimidate.

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2