8 reasons to become a pharmacy preceptor
Not infrequently, students and pharmacists alike ask me why I choose to precept pharmacy students. The short answer is that I precept students for essentially the same reason I write this column. I’ve made a shocking number of missteps and bad choices in my career and, having emerged relatively unscathed thus far, I feel compelled to share with my colleagues in an effort to prevent them from following in my shaky footsteps. Or, as I say to my students, “Laugh at my pain — and then learn from it.”
If you are not a preceptor, you might feel justified in not taking it on. Here are eight reasons to make you reconsider.
1. Pay it forward. We all have a favorite preceptor whom we remember fondly and credit for some of our successes as pharmacists. You could be that preceptor to a fledgling student, and you should certainly try.
2. Stay current. I pride myself on learning something new at work every single day. When I have a student, I may learn 10 new clinical pearls or facts that day. PY4 students are literally unmined gold; their knowledge base is current and robust.
3. CE credit. As a North Carolina-licensed pharmacist, I can earn up to five hours of live CE credit every year for precepting students. Check with your state’s board of pharmacy to find out whether your state offers a similar incentive.
4. Expand your network. Just as kittens grow into cats and puppies into dogs, pharmacy students grow into pharmacists. You may currently be preceptor to a student who will someday be your manager or a practice innovator — or the first Pharmacist General of the United States.
5. Elevate your job prospects. Obviously, being a preceptor can be viewed as a resume builder, but what you might not have considered is the idea that your current student could be your future co-worker or employer. The last time I was actively seeking a job, I reached out to former students and asked them to notify me of openings at their places of employment, which did turn up some good opportunities.