Skip to main content.

Becoming a Preceptor

Learn about the preceptor experience and how these individuals provide valuable community clinical experiences for our students and learners through the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

The volunteer faculty physicians in the University of Kansas School of Medicine are some of our most valued teaching assets. We're proud to have more than 2,500 physicians who volunteer their time to host students in their practices and teach many specialties.

Preceptor Background

There is no single best way to teach medical students; the best clinical teachers use a variety of techniques. Students are adult learners so the role is more similar to coaching than traditional classroom teaching. The education of our students depends on a preceptor's expertise and enthusiasm for teaching.

Most teaching skills are similar or identical to skills required for patient care, so you are already a skilled clinical teacher. And, as a "coach," you can draw on both positive and negative experiences in your own education.

Because the focus is on community faculty, we use this term and "preceptor" or "supervisor" interchangeably. We will also use "medical student," "student" and "learner" interchangeably though the resources apply to a variety of clinical settings, clinical instructors and learners.

Volunteer Faculty

An academic appointment in the School of Medicine is needed to serve as a volunteer faculty. You can learn more by visiting the Faculty Affairs website.

Becoming a volunteer faculty member is a 3-step process:

  1. Email a current curriculum vitae, active email account, and home address
  2. The above information is then processed through the Office of Rural Medical Education, Department for Chair signature, School of Medicine Office of Academic Affairs
  3. Information moves to the campus dean for final approval.


Notification of initial appointment is sent by the U.S. Postal Service. Subsequent contact is sent through email, necessitating the need for a current and active email address. Your privacy is very important to us, and no information is sold or used in any other capacity than the School of Medicine educational programs.

Rural Preceptors

Rural physicians contribute a significant portion of that teaching. There are approximately 200  rural preceptors currently active in our combined network. Preceptors can select their calendar availability, the number of students per year, the particular medical education programs and the educational level in which they want to be involved.

Our preceptors report feeling energized by the students and share that what they learn is comparable to what they teach their students. Patients also report that having students in the office enhances the clinical experience.

Additional advantages to serving as a preceptor include:

  • Access to databases in Dykes Library
  • Professional development instruction
  • Information regarding grants and other resources for funding
  • Family physicians can claim prescribed credit through the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) if they so choose. The AAFP states that medical student teaching may qualify for up to 20 hours of CE credit per year. Please refer to the AAFP CME website about reporting self-directed learning activities under the topic of teaching.
  • Teaching students in a clinical setting may qualify for self-reported AMA PRA category 2 credit. According to AMA standards, we cannot certify or advertise that any medical student teaching activity qualifies for credit. A physician must individually assess the educational value of each learning experience to determine if it's appropriate to claim for Category 2 Credit. Please follow the guidelines for reporting these activities as per the AMA guidelines. Please refer to the AMA publication "The AMA Physician’s Recognition Award and credit system" for more information. Specific information about AMA PRA Category 2 Credit can be found on page 10 in their booklet.

Preceptor Resources

Preceptors serve the University of Kansas School of Medicine by providing valuable community clinical experiences for our students and other learners.

Information and Links

Listen to Recordings of previous presentations

KU School of Medicine

Office of Rural Medical Education
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Mail Stop 1049
Kansas City, KS 66160 

Fax: 913-588-5259