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Clinical Participation Requirements

Why Serve as a Clinical Preceptor?

Our clinical preceptors form an essential part of the Physician Assistant Studies program. In addition to helping our students learn practical skills in a hands-on setting, preceptors enjoy other benefits. If you are interested in precepting for our Residential program, please complete the survey here and someone from our clinical team will be in contact.

By becoming a clinical preceptor, you can...

  • Facilitate the recruitment of your next great coworker and colleague
  • Develop leadership, teaching and supervisory skills of yourself and your colleagues
  • Access free continuing education credits (see below)
  • Receive an official appointment as a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh
    • This is a great way to build your CV and access the benefits available to faculty
  • Benefit your patients by adding a student to the health care team, which: 
    • Extends your reach as a clinician
    • Provides an additional communication partner
    • Further individualizes patient care and planning by a focused student
  • Contribute to the field of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Keep your team up-to-date with current knowledge and best practices

Clinical Year Student Handbook

For your reference, the Clinical Year Student Handbook is available at this link.

Continuing Education Credits

In gratitude for your support of the mission of our program and the development next generation of PAs, our program provides continuing education credits, including:

CME Credits for Precepting Students


Introducing PreCEPT (Precepter Continuing Education and Preceptor Training)!  An innovative learning opportunity for Preceptors of APP Students that was developed by our Department in conjunction with APP Preceptor Leadership from UPMC. More information can be found here.

Feedback and Mentoring of Clinical Students

  • Earn up to 1.5 hours of Category 1 CME credit at no charge!
  • If you don’t already have one, create an account with the University’s WISER Institute.
  • Request registration using this link:
  • Click “Register for a Class” and follow the instructions
  • When registering, please mark your Role in Class as a "PARTICIPANT" (not as an instructor) and the Preferred Class Date as "12/31/2023 01:01 AM - 12:00PM" (this sets a deadline for course completion but you will be able to access the course soon after registration).

Advanced Practice Provider Grand Rounds: What Do Universities Look for in Preceptors? ​

Pittsburgh SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment)


Physician Assistants Advancing Diversity (PAAD) Preceptors

PAAD is an opportunity for students at any Pitt campus to better understand the PA profession. We acknowledge that many undergraduate students are not aware of the Physician Assistant/Associate (PA) profession and/or are unsure of what it takes to get there, we are launching an immersive experience of all things PA! 

PAAD is provided by the University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies Program in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). 


If you are interested in serving as a preceptor, please email Tara McSwigan at ( 


Other Ways to Stay Engaged


  • Grading opportunities arise throughout the semester based on specific course instruction and faculty needs.  A department staff member will reach out regarding upcoming activities.

Facilitating labs/standardized patient encounters

  • Laboratory sessions and standardized patient (SP) encounters occur at set times throughout the curriculum.  Opportunities are available to facilitate in-person labs and SP encounters. A department staff member will reach out regarding upcoming activities.

Adjunct Lecturers

  • ​Upon successful completion of grading and/or facilitation activities, it is possible to become an adjunct lecturer.  If you are interested in an adjunct appointment, please reach out to the program administrator.