A Keck PA examines an infant with students and mother looking on.

Who are our preceptors?

Our clinical preceptors are board-certified in their specialty and participate on a voluntary basis. We offer voluntary clinical faculty appointments in Family Medicine to interested preceptors.

Clinical preceptors can be physicians who are specialty board-certified in their area of instruction, NCCPA-certified PAs, or other licensed healthcare providers qualified in their area of instruction (including nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives). Our students are assigned full-time to their clinical sites. We expect that students will have opportunities for direct patient care, but want to be sure that each patient seen by the student is also evaluated by the clinical preceptor, as we encourage a team-based approach to patient care.

Our students are ready to work in your practice

Our students complete three semesters of didactic lectures covering all the disciplines of medicine, and clinical skills courses that teach procedures and clinical reasoning. Students also have three semesters of conversational and medical Spanish, pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology and behavioral science.

Students also participate in interprofessional projects, are BCLS/ACLS certified, have completed HIPAA training, fire safety training, and meet the CDC health screening requirements for healthcare workers. They are also covered by USC;s professional liability insurance and complete an extensive background check.

Students enter their clinical year with a variety of skills already well-practiced. Instructors encourage students to take advantage of opportunities to practice and maintain these skills throughout their clinical year.


Skills include:
  • Airway management
  • Bandaging and splinting
  • Bedside ultrasound
  • Casting
  • Clinical breast examination
  • Culture and specimen collection
  • Ear lavage
  • Electrocardiogram interpretation
  • Fecal occult blood testing
  • Interpretation of routine radiographic studies (chest, abdomen, extremities)
  • Intramuscular, intradermal and subcutaneous injections
  • Intravenous catherterization
  • Laboratory interpretations
  • Male genital exams
  • Nasogastric/orogastric tube insertion
  • Papanicolaou smear (obtain)
  • Pelvic examination
  • Rectal examination (digital)
  • Sterile technique and surgical scrubbing
  • Surgical hand ties
  • Suturing of lacerations
  • Urinary bladder catherization
  • Venipuncture
  • Wound care (basic)
Core Rotations:
  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine
  • General pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Internal medicine
  • Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Orthopedics
  • Women’s health
  • Primary Care Selective (Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Street Medicine or Outpatient Internal Medicine)

The core rotations are six weeks in length, beginning in January and ending in December of each year.

Senior Rotation

Scheduled mid-February through the end of April (three days per week for 10 weeks).

This additional clinical time is somewhat unique to our program, as most PA programs provide only one year of clinical training.  This allows the student more time to enhance their clinical skills and prepare for clinical practice.

Interested in being a preceptor?

Contact the program:
Phone: (626)457-4240
Email: uscpa@usc.edu