The Study: Preceptor doctors' assessment of the clinical skills of chiropractic externs.
a. Some chiropractic colleges have a long history of having students spend time in a preceptor program.
b. This article asked doctors who have participated as a preceptor if the student’s competence improved during the preceptor program.
c. The authors conducted a survey with 125 doctors responding.
d. Students (externs) tended to present to the preceptor doctors with a lack of confidence in their practice management skills.
e. The surveyed doctors (preceptors) felt that the students were weak not only in their practice management skills but also in their adjusting technique.
f. Preceptor doctors were “split on student preparedness in chiropractic adjusting technique, reporting it as both the strongest and the weakest presenting skill.”
g. Surveyed doctors reported that “improvement in confidence and/or efficiency over the time of the preceptorship was demonstrated.”
The doctors saw an improvement in the students over the time of the preceptorship.
I personally think that programs of this type could be very helpful and I am glad that the authors took a look at it. I happen to know the first three authors on this study so I sent this review out to the lead author, Roger J. Hynes, DC, and asked for his thoughts. In part of his reply he noted the following regarding a follow up study that was performed by surveying the students in this preceptor program.
“Although never published, this study was replicated surveying the students who took part in the preceptor program. The results from that study were presented at the 2016 ACC/RAC conference. With that cohort, startlingly 100% of respondents noted practice management as their greatest weakness.”
So now you have thoughts from both the prospective of the doctors and the students in this preceptor program and I thank Dr. Hynes for his input.
Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC
Editor’s Comments: Interesting that the students did not seem particularly cognizant of any shortcomings in terms of their adjusting skills, but were more concerned with their own limitations in running the business side of the practice. I have an opinion on what that might mean which I will keep to myself. I leave it to the readers to draw their own conclusions as to what that might mean.
Editor: Mark R. Payne DC
Reference: Hynes RJ, Callender AK, Hynes RA, Gran DF. Preceptor doctors' assessment of the clinical skills of chiropractic externs. J Chiropr Educ. 2016 Mar;30(1):37-41. doi: 10.7899/JCE-14-19. Epub 2015 Nov 24.
Link to Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26600271