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Med Educ Online. 2013 May 3;18:1-7. doi: 10.3402/meo.v18i0.20733.

Benefits and barriers among volunteer teaching faculty: comparison between those who precept and those who do not in the core pediatrics clerkship.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.



Community-based outpatient experiences are a core component of the clinical years in medical school. Central to the success of this experience is the recruitment and retention of volunteer faculty from the community. Prior studies have identified reasons why some preceptors volunteer their time however, there is a paucity of data comparing those who volunteer from those who do not.


A survey was developed following a review of previous studies addressing perceptions of community-based preceptors. A non-parametric, Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare active preceptors (APs) and inactive preceptors (IPs) and all data were analyzed in SPSS 20.0.


There was a 28% response rate. Preceptors showed similar demographic characteristics, valued intrinsic over extrinsic benefits, and appreciated Continuing Medical Education (CME)/Maintenance of Certification (MOC) opportunities as the highest extrinsic reward. APs were more likely to also precept at the M1/M2 level and value recognition and faculty development opportunities (p<0.05). IPs denoted time as the most significant barrier and, in comparison to APs, rated financial compensation as more important (p<0.05).


Community preceptors are motivated by intrinsic benefits of teaching. Efforts to recruit should initially focus on promoting awareness of teaching opportunities and offering CME/MOC opportunities. Increasing the pool of preceptors may require financial compensation.


community; pediatric; pediatric clerkship; preceptor; undergraduate medical education

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