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Defining and Developing the Feedback-Providing and Mentoring Competencies of Clinical Preceptors

Beck, David (2020) Defining and Developing the Feedback-Providing and Mentoring Competencies of Clinical Preceptors. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Physician Assistant (PA) education is based on a model of didactic instruction followed by clinical experiences under the supervision of practicing health care providers, termed “clinical preceptors.” These supervised clinical practice experiences provide real-world opportunities for students to practice the skills of patient care and are a key part of preparing students for their own clinical practice upon graduation. In addition to their supervisory roles, clinical preceptors are charged with the specific tasks of providing feedback and mentoring to students. Review of administrative data at the University of Pittsburgh PA Studies Program revealed suboptimal student evaluation scores regarding the performance of these competencies by their preceptors, and the program did not have mechanisms for selecting clinical preceptors based on their competencies in providing feedback and mentoring or for developing these competencies in current preceptors.
This project followed an improvement science approach, in which online learning modules regarding the competencies of providing feedback and mentoring were developed and presented to 46 current clinical preceptors. Using a pre-post model, knowledge and self-competence regarding these competencies were measured among the total population and by demographics, including age, gender, location, specialty of practice, and profession. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, where possible, and revealed that knowledge and self-competence scores improved overall and in almost every demographic group.
This study provides proof of concept for the use of online learning modules in the professional development of clinical preceptors of the University of Pittsburgh PA Studies Program, specifically in the competencies of providing feedback and mentoring. The findings will be disseminated through a manuscript to be submitted to a professional journal, and will serve as a basis for further efforts to improving the competencies of clinical preceptors at the program, across PA education, and in the education of other health care providers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beck, Daviddbeck@pitt.edudbeck0000-0003-3905-6071
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPerry, Jilljperry@pitt.edujperry
Committee MemberKelly, M. Kathleenkkelly21@pitt.edukkelly
Committee MemberFertman, Carlcarl@pitt.educarl
Committee MemberMassey, Scottscm85@pitt.eduscm85
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 June 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 21 July 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 98
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: clinical education, professional development, online learning modules
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 14:32
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 14:32


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