Clinical Preceptors

Who are our preceptors?

Our clinical preceptors are board certified in their specialty and participate on a voluntary basis. We are able to offer a volunteer faculty appointment to those preceptors that commit to having at least 4 students assigned to them per clinical year.

In addition to physician preceptors, California law allows licensed physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse mid-wives to serve as secondary preceptors. Our students are assigned full-time to their clinical sites, we expect that they 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 medical Spanish, participate in interprofessional projects and have a wide range of clinical and technical skills. They also are covered by USC’s professional liability insurance, are BCLS/ACLS certified, complete HIPAA training and fire safety training, meet the CDC health screening requirements for healthcare workers, 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
  • Casting, bandaging and splinting
  • Clinical breast examination
  • Culture and specimen collection
  • Ear lavage
  • Electrocardiogram interpretation
  • Fecal occult blood testing
  • I & D of abscesses
  • Interpretation of routine radiographic studies (chest, abdomen, extremities)
  • Intramuscular, intradermal and subcutaneous injections
  • Intravenous catherterization
  • Laboratory interpretations
  • Nasogastric/orogastric tube insertion
  • Papanicolaou smear (obtain)
  • Pelvic examination
  • Rectal examination (digital)
  • Sterile technique and surgical scrubbing
  • Surgical hand ties
  • Suturing of lacerations
  • Testicular examinations
  • Urinary bladder catherization
  • Venipuncture
  • Wound care (basic)

Core Clerkships:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine (1 & 2)
  • General pediatrics
  • General surgery
  • Internal medicine
  • Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Orthopedics
  • Women’s health

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

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

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

Interested in being a preceptor?

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