A Program's Analysis of Communication Methods With Clinical Preceptors.

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PURPOSE: Preceptors value communication with physician assistant (PA) educational programs. This study describes preceptors' perspectives about one PA program's established and new communication strategies to promote preceptor development and retention. METHODS: An electronic survey of preceptors was conducted in December 2014. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Eighty-eight of 209 preceptors completed the survey (42% response rate). Preceptors reported satisfaction with communication frequency and quality. The most preferred topics were preceptor benefits, teaching strategies, feedback about students' performance, and program policy updates. Many preceptors reported not receiving communications sent by mail. A majority of preceptors preferred site visits at least once per year and in person. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding preceptors' preferred topics helped the study program increase its emphasis on those topics. Knowledge that many preceptors do not receive mailed communications has prompted the program to use electronic communication for all communication types. The results reinforced the program's approach to site visits.






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Hudak, Nicholas M, April Stouder and Christine M Everett (2018). A Program's Analysis of Communication Methods With Clinical Preceptors. J Physician Assist Educ, 29(1). pp. 39–42. 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000184 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16161.

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Nicholas Mark Hudak

Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

Nicholas Hudak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Duke University School of Medicine. He is faculty clinical coordinator with the Duke Physician Assistant (PA) Program, practicing PA in the Department of Neurology, and an Assistant Director in the Duke Center for Interprofessional Education and Care. 


April Loehmer Stouder

Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

Associate Program Director, Duke Physician Assistant Program

  • Director of Admissions
  • Disability Service Liaison
  • Stead Society Faculty Advisor
  • Interest in evaluation of clinical competency, holistic admissions processes, enhancing accessibility for learners, and hematology/oncology teaching.
  • Chair, Academic Progress Committee
  • Volunteer at TROSA Medical Clinic in Durham.     

Christine M Everett

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences

Dr. Everett joined the faculty of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University in August 2013 and gained a secondary appointment in the Department of Population Health in 2018. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked clinically in emergency departments in rural Wisconsin. Prior to becoming a physician assistant (PA), Dr. Everett worked in research at the National Institutes of Health and public health policy at the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Everett’s current research initiatives focus on healthcare team design and the impact on patient, provider, and organizational outcomes. Recent work has focused on understanding the role of primary care PAs and nurse practitioners (NPs) and how they relate to outcomes for patients with diabetes. Her work has been published in a variety of journals including Health Affairs, Journal of Rural Health , Medical Care Research and Review, and BMC Family Practice. She completed the first comparative effectiveness study of primary care PAs and NPs and has become the first PA faculty in the US to receive grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Nationally, Christine has served on a range of governmental and non-governmental groups, including the Healthy People 2010 Workgroup, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Primary Care Team Workforce Models Workgroup, and the American Academy of Physician Assistant Research Council.  She is currently a member of the advisory board for the Center for Professionalism & Value in Healthcare and the Associate Editor for Research for the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

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