Department of Pharmacy Practice
The University of Mississippi

Preceptor Application

Contact us to begin the application process.

General Information for Preceptor Applicants

Definition of a Preceptor

In the context of experiential education a preceptor is a pharmacy practitioner who, by role-modeling an exemplary practice, facilitates a student’s acquisition of the abilities (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) necessary for the provision of patient-centered pharmacist care.  A preceptor is a member of the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.

Preceptor Application Process

The first step toward becoming a preceptor is for the applicant to send a letter of interest (or email) to the Tripartite Committee. A Preceptor Application packet is then sent to the applicant.

The completed application must be returned to the Tripartite Committee via mail. Upon receipt of the completed application, a representative of the School of Pharmacy schedules and performs a site visit.  In order to perform the site visit prior to its fall meeting, the Tripartite Committee must receive completed applications by September 1st of each year or by the date indicated on the cover letter accompanying the packet.

At its annual fall meeting the Tripartite Committee reviews and discusses all applicants and current preceptors. Applicants and current preceptors are promptly informed in writing of the decision regarding recommendation for appointment.

The Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning must then approve the recommendation for appointment. Those applicants who are appointed receive a packet from the School of Pharmacy that contains instructions and information necessary for finalizing the appointment process.

Appointment and Application Cycles

Applications must be submitted prior to July 1 of a given year to be considered for appointment and possible student placement for the next academic year.

Appointment as a preceptor is for one year, which coincides with the academic calendar of the fourth (PY4) year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program.  The PY4 year usually begins in early June of each year and continues through May Commencement of the following year.

Tripartite Committee

The Tripartite Committee addresses many issues that affect and are affected by the profession of pharmacy in the state of Mississippi.  One of these issues is the experiential education of University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy students. Members of the Tripartite Committee are committed to identifying and retaining quality experiential sites and preceptors.  The joint action of committee review of preceptor applicants demonstrates the profession’s shared responsibility and accountability in the education of tomorrow’s pharmacists.

Members of the Tripartite Committee are representatives of the three branches of the pharmacy profession in the state of Mississippi. The branches represented are the regulatory component (Mississippi State Board of Pharmacy), the practice component (professional organizations) and the education component (University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy).

Selection Criteria

The Criteria for Preceptor Selection were developed using multiple sources.  These sources included

  • The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education 2007 Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor Of Pharmacy Degree
  • The American Pharmaceutical Association’s “Principles of Practice of Pharmaceutical Care.”

In addition, feedback from existing preceptors and members of the Tripartite Committee was incorporated into the criteria.  These criteria emphasize those pharmacists and sites involved in direct-patient care activities.

Preceptor Application Process for Nontraditional Practices

The Tripartite Committee encourages pharmacists in indirect patient care or non-patient care settings to submit applications.  Examples of such practices include managed care, pharmacy management, or other nontraditional practices.  The Tripartite Committee will consider alternative preceptor and site qualifications when reviewing such applicants.

Site Visits

A faculty member of the UM School of Pharmacy, acting as a representative of the Tripartite Committee, will schedule and perform the site visit.  The time required to perform the site visit depends upon the size and nature of the facility.  Visitations to community pharmacy practice sites may require one to two hours.  Visitations to institutions or specialty sites may require more time.  The site visit should be scheduled at a time that allows full observation of all practice functions and that is conducive to one-on-one discussion.

Suspension/Revocation of Appointment

A preceptor’s appointment may be suspended or revoked if the preceptor, or a third party working in the practice environment who is in contact with the student, acts in a manner which is hostile or intimidating to the student or interferes with the student’s performance of his/her responsibilities and progress toward achievement of the objectives of the experiential education program.  Actions that may lead to suspension or denial of appointment include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Abuse or misuse of alcohol or other mood-altering substances.  Any preceptor or preceptor applicant who has been found guilty of a drug or narcotic violation, or whose license has been revoked, suspended, or placed on probation by a board of pharmacy shall not be eligible for preceptorship until completion of the probationary periods and show of good cause.
  • Failure to complete and submit required documentation to the Tripartite Committee or the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Office of Professional Experience Programs.
  • Failure to comply in an acceptable manner with the policies and procedures of the Professional Experience Program as adopted by the Tripartite Committee and/or the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.
  • Failure to attend annual preceptor training programs.  Preceptors who miss two (2) consecutive preceptor-training programs are automatically withdrawn from the preceptor program unless he/she provides reasonable cause and prior notification.
  • Failure to demonstrate support of the curricular philosophy of the UM School of Pharmacy or the Professional Experience Program.
  • Evidence of use of students laborers or employees.

Reappointment process

Preceptors are reviewed annually by the Tripartite Committee and are subject to the same requirements as preceptor applicants.  Reappointment is made based on several factors including, but not limited to:

  • Student Evaluations of Preceptor (SEOP)
  • Routine site visit reports
  • Evidence of continued compliance with the Criteria for Preceptor Selection
  • Logistical issues such as geographical location and frequency of student assignment to site

Preceptors and/or sites for which major deficiencies are noted must create an action plan to address and correct said deficiencies.  The preceptor is allowed one (1) year to correct the identified deficiencies.

2007 ACPE Accreditation Standards and Guidelines, Appendix C

selected information about desired qualities of preceptors
The college or school should identify preceptors who will be positive role models for students and who, in general, demonstrate the following behavior, qualities, and values (as applicable to their area of practice):

  • practice ethically and with compassion for patients
  • accept personal responsibility for patient outcomes
  • have professional training, experience, and competence commensurate with their position
  • utilize clinical and scientific publications in clinical care decision making and evidence-based practice
  • have a desire to educate others (patients, care givers, other health care professionals, students, pharmacy residents)
  • have an aptitude to facilitate learning
  • be able to document and assess student performance
  • have a systematic, self-directed approach to their own continuing professional development
  • collaborate with other health care professionals as a member of a team
  • be committed to their organization, professional societies, and the community

University of Mississippi Criteria for Preceptor Selection

Criteria for the Experiential Education Site (EES)

  • Standard — The EES represents contemporary ideals and displays high standards of pharmacy practice.
  • Guideline 1 — The EES meets standards set by all governmental agencies including a state board of pharmacy, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Guideline 2  — If part of an institution, such as a hospital, the EES shall be appropriately accredited (i.e, the Joint Commission).
  • Guideline 3 — The EES must be free of any violation of state and/or federal laws.
  • Guideline 4 — The staff of the EES must be free of any violation of state and/or federal laws.
  • Guideline 5  — The EES must have been a licensed facility for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Guideline 6 — The EES must display the highest standards of professionalism.
  • Guideline 6.1 — The EES must be clean and orderly.
  • Guideline 6.2 — The EES must be a smoke-free facility in order to protect the health of the site’s patients, students, and faculty and in order to comply with the smoke-free facility guidelines of the University of Mississippi.
  • Guideline 6.3 — The EES must provide ongoing support for the provision of patient-centered care to its patients.
  • Guideline 6.3.1 — The EES must maintain sufficient and appropriate library and/or reference sources/materials for supporting student learning.  Access to online resources should also be included.
  • Guideline 6.3.2  — Patient data should be readily accessible in order to provide patient-centered care.
  • Guideline 6.3.3 — The structure of the EES should be such that sufficient opportunity and time for interaction with patients are provided.  At a minimum, patient interactions should include pharmacists’ performance of patient histories and patient education.
  • Guideline 6.3.4 — The EES should have at a minimum a semiprivate area for the provision of patient counseling.
  • Guideline 6.3.5 — The EES should provide an educational environment conducive to and supportive of the provision of pharmacist-centered care via collaboration and direct interaction with other health care professionals.  The health care professionals may include but are not limited to physicians, nurses, dietitians, dentists, and physical therapists.
  • Guideline 7 — The EES must be committed to teaching pharmacy students.  The EES may also be involved in teaching other health care professionals.
  • Guideline 8 — The management and/or administration of the EES must support the philosophy of a patient-focused practice.
  • Guideline 9 — The preceptor-applicant and the management/administration of the EES must commit the use of multiple resources in the education of the pharmacy student.  Such resources include all aspects of the EES, the pharmacist(s), pharmacy technicians, support staff, and time.
  • Guideline 10 — The management and/or administration of the EES must express in writing his/her support for the preceptor-applicant’s participation in the program.
  • Guideline 11 — The EES must maintain adequate staffing during the instructional period to allow the student a rewarding and meaningful experience.

Practitioner Criteria

  • Standard — Preceptors serve as both exemplary professional role models and as clinical instructors for students.
  • Guideline 1 — The preceptor applicants for required rotations must be licensed pharmacists in good standing with the state’s Board of Pharmacy.  The Tripartite committee may consider applications from other professionals (i.e., physicians) for elective rotations if the associated experiences are deemed to be of high quality, innovative, and excellent opportunities for students.
  • Guideline 2 — The preceptor-applicant must be actively engaged in practice a minimum of 3 years prior to application.  Under certain circumstances this requirement may be waived.  Such a waiver may be granted if the applicant has completed a pharmacy residency that is reflective of the corresponding experiential course.
  • Guideline 3 — The preceptor-applicant must have completed 12 months of practice at the EES.  A preceptor shall notify the Tripartite Committee of a change in practice site and shall re-apply for preceptorship at the new location of practice.  A waiver may be granted if the applicant is transferred to a similar practice site and a proper site visit is conducted.
  • Guideline 4 — The preceptor should be the program or department manager/director who has supervisory or coordination duties and responsibilities.  The preceptor-applicant may be the designee of said manager or director, provided that such arrangement is mutually agreeable and beneficial to the manager/director, designee and School.
  • Guideline 5 — The preceptor must have the desire, time, and support (technical, administrative and staff) to facilitate the student’s learning process and to assess the student’s performance.
  • Guideline 6 — The preceptor must have a history of exemplary professional and personal conduct.
  • Guideline 7 — The preceptor must maintain a positive and progressive outlook for the profession of pharmacy.
  • Guideline 8 — The preceptor must maintain high standards for professional appearance and demeanor.
  • Guideline 9 — The preceptor must have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Guideline 10 — The preceptor must exhibit a philosophy of education consistent with the educational and patient-care missions of the UM School of Pharmacy.
  • Guideline 11 — The preceptor must provide learning experiences that stress the responsible provision of patient-centered care and the optimization of patient drug therapy outcomes.
  • Guideline 12 — Specialty board certification and/or credentialing in disease-state management is desirable of all preceptors.
  • Guideline  13 — Advanced practice site preceptors may be required to possess advanced training for specific practice experiences.  Advanced training may be obtained via completion of an advanced degree program (Pharm.D. or MS), a residency and/or fellowship, status as a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, disease-management credentialing program, or comparable experience.
  • The preceptor engages in professional growth and life-long learning by participating in professional organizations and continuing education programs.
  • Guideline  14.1 — To provide the opportunity for the exchange of professional ideas, a minimum of 5 hours every two years must be obtained via live continuing education.
  • Guideline 14.2 — Preceptors are highly encouraged to be active members of professional pharmacy organizations in the state of Mississippi.
  • Guideline 15 — Preceptors are required to attend annual preceptor training programs sponsored by the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.
  • Guideline 16 — Preceptor-applicants who have previously received training in instructional methods are desired.
  • Guideline 17 — Creative scholarship is expected of full-time faculty. Part-time/volunteer faculty are encouraged to participate in creative and scholarly endeavors, but it is not required of them.
  • Guideline 18 — The preceptor must have adopted and strive to function in compliance with the American Pharmaceutical Association’s Code of Ethics (see below).

Practice Criteria

  • Standard — The pharmacist actively engages in a patient-centered, outcomes-oriented pharmacy practice that is well received by health professional and patients.
  • Guideline 1 — For direct-patient care educational experiences, the pharmacist is actively engaged in the provision of pharmacist patient-centered care.
  • Guideline 1.1 — Pharmacist patient-centered care is the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life.  These outcomes are (1) Cure of a disease (2) Elimination or reduction of a patient’s symptomatology (3) Arresting or slowing of a disease process OR (4) Preventing a disease or symptomatology.
  • Guideline 1.2 — The pharmacist performs the following functions in the provision of patient-centered care:  (1) Identifies potential and actual drug-related problems (2) Resolves actual drug-related problems AND (3) Prevents potential drug-related problems
  • Guideline 2 — The pharmacist develops and maintains a professional relationship with his/her patient and the patient’s physician.
  • Guideline 3 — The pharmacist collects, organizes, records and maintains patient-specific medical information.
  • Guideline 4 — The pharmacist evaluates patient-specific medical information and, in conjunction with the patient and the patient’s physician, develops a drug therapy plan.
  • Guideline 5 — The pharmacist assures that the patient has sufficient supplies, information and knowledge necessary to carry out the drug therapy plan.
  • Guideline 6 — The pharmacist reviews, monitors and modifies the therapeutic plan as necessary and appropriate, in concert with the patient and healthcare team.
  • Guideline 7 — The preceptor is recognized by patients, other pharmacists, and other health-care professionals as a competent patient-care provider.
  • Guideline 8 — The preceptor maintains an ethical and values-sensitive practice.