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Virtual Precepting

Holly Causey Canupp, PharmD, BCACP, CPP, CDCES
Director, PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency
Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Duke Outpatient Clinic (DOC)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy


Over the past few weeks, many of us have adapted to the changing environment.  I have found myself precepting students and residents for an ambulatory experience in new ways.  While not normally a tech-savvy person, I’ve had to learn to embrace technology.  I’ve had the distinct honor yet simultaneous challenge to offer my ambulatory rotation in a completely virtual venue and also in a half-virtual/half-onset manner.
Benefits for myself and my learners:
– Increases competence with technology
– Encourages creativity and innovation
– Sets an example of flexibility and adaptability for the learner
Areas of continued improvement:
– Increased time for orientation due to technology and not physically being in the same place
– Difficult to understand non-verbal communication cues

Thus, realizing the above, my colleagues within the pharmacy ambulatory division at Duke University Hospital have put together a few tips for success:

Tips for Success:

  • Create a detailed rotation calendar with both preceptor and learner’s schedule. Include all due dates, activities, and evaluations (weekly evals/feedback, midpoint and final eval)
  • Orientation – set clear expectations for the rotation, which may include checking in regularly with preceptor, daily patient work ups and presenting them with recommendations, etc
  • Check-in with learner more regularly when remote (such as twice daily)
  • Block off dedicated time each day for interactions with the learner
  • Keep a list of patients who could always benefit from a follow up (chart review, med review, f/u call, etc) so that there is always a patient care activity if daily workload is completed early
  • Keep a cache of study questions and busy day activities
  • Learn customizations with your electronic health record
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