A "preceptor" is a professional who provides guidance, practical experience and training to help you meet expectations of your program. It could take some time to find a professional who is willing and available so begin the process early.
Tips for Finding a Preceptor at Mercy
- Ask people if they know someone in your field of interest. This could include family members, family friends, neighbors, or acquaintances who are members of the profession. If referred, ask if you may use them as a reference for a shadowing experience.
- Healthcare practitioners typically know people who work in the same or other health fields. Check with the physicians or other healthcare professionals for a referral into your field of interest. If referred, ask if you may use them as a reference for a shadowing experience.
- Search Mercy.net for a provider in a specific location and specialty
- Mail, email, or hand deliver a professionally written résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) to each potential shadowing resource you have identified. Include a cover letter (one or two paragraphs) in which you explain a little about yourself and your goals, including why you are interested in the profession. Doing so can help you establish credibility as a serious-minded preprofessional student.
- Professional programs desire applicants who have developed the ability to self-assess, and self-assessment is a skill crucial to being a responsible healthcare professional. Drafting a résumé is in itself a self-assessment process, which is one reason creating a résumé can also help you when the time comes to draft your application personal statement, and, hopefully, prepare for interviews.
- Having a current résumé can help you as you seek employment, volunteering, and clinical observation opportunities, all of which have the potential to help you develop the skills necessary for success in graduate school and in your career.
- Have a résumé ready to provide to those who have agreed to write you a letter of recommendation.
- A curriculum vitae serves purposes similar to that of a résumé, but focusses more on your education and educational experiences, and allows for more detailed descriptions of these experiences.
- A couple of days later, make a follow-up phone call to see if they have received your résumé / CV.
- Volunteer at a hospital or clinic to network with clinicians
- Be flexible - the best time for you to observe is either early in the morning or during off hours, like weekends or evenings. In the hospital, weekend rounds are sometimes easier to observe. In addition, practitioners do not have clinic rounds.