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Longitudinal Preceptor Program


Program Description

The Longitudinal Preceptor Program has been a prominent part of medical school education for years and is a key clinical experience which shapes student professional development. The LPP program is part of the required Doctoring and Clinical Skills Course (DCS) in years 1 & 2. The experience lasts for approximately 1 ½ years. Over time the program has evolved and branched out to include both inpatient and outpatient contexts, urgent care, emergency departments and sub-specialty clinics. We continue to work on better preparing students for the broad range of experiences required of them in the clinical years. Some key features of LPP are as follows:

  • LPP begins during the first year of medical school and typically runs through the first semester of the second year. 

  • Time commitment: First year students attend 11 sessions over the course of their academic year beginning in October and running through May. Second year students attend 6 sessions, usually occurring August - December (Fall semester). One session is equivalent to roughly 3 hours.

  • A session is not meant to be solely a shadowing experience, but a chance for students to interact with patients to begin practicing their history taking, physical exam, and some basic problem solving skills. 

  • With the exception of the Rural and Urban Health Scholars pathways noted below, we have transitioned from a more traditional model where students were assigned to a single preceptor (1-to-1) for their entire LPP experience into a new model (as of 2019) where students are assigned 2 preceptors; this meaning that preceptors are assigned 2 students.

    • Half of an individual student's sessions are completed with a primary care preceptor (Internal Medicine, Family Medicine) - we also include Hospitalist and Emergency Medicine in this group for a more generalized experience. The other half of the student's sessions are completed with a Specialist or a Pediatrician.

    • Preceptors are assigned 2 students but would only have 1 student attend a session at a time and would still complete the same total number of sessions throughout the first and second year (11 total during the first year, 6 total during the second year, mainly during the Fall semester).

    • The purpose of this newer model is to broaden students’ learning experience and increase exposure to a variety of specialties.  

  • Pathway Models - Rural & Urban Health Scholars
    • The Rural and Urban Health Scholars Pathways are two different pathways. Retaining the traditional model, the Rural and Urban Health Scholars Pathways offer students a longitudinal relationship with one primary care preceptor in a health center aligned with the pathway’s focus.  This long-term relationship promotes mentorship as student skills develop. Students apply to the pathways and are matched through a separate process to identify a preceptor aligned with their interests. These pathways promote an understanding of the impact of social determinants of health, the value of integration of behavioral health in the patient’s care and the interprofessional team involved in patient care. Students participate in the care of patients at all acuity levels from acute to ongoing care in the context of a longitudinal relationship with the patient(s). Students may follow a patient to appointment(s) with specialists (with the patient’s permission) or make a home visit.

"I have absolutely loved my LPP preceptorship. Working with patients at the Family Health Center has not only affirmed my career choice, but keeps me inspired and hopeful that my future is one that can make a difference."
- Laura Santoso, Class of 2018, LPP Site: Family Health Center of Worcester

"The preceptorship program has been my favorite thing about UMass so far...LPP allows me to take what I have learned in my basic science classes…and apply them in the hospital."
- Daniel Warden, Class of 2017, LPP Site: UMass Memorial & University Campus Emergency Department  

For more student testimonials, click here

Interested in learning more about the program?
Submit your information below to hear more!

For Prospective Preceptors 

- Outline of Preceptor Role
- Program Benefits 

For Students

- Program Benefits 
- Student Testimonials
- List of current & past LPP sites 

For Current Preceptors

- Monthly Updates & Teaching Tips
- Preceptor Packets