Answer to "What capabilities does a preceptor need to thrive in a LIC?"

The most essential capabilities needed by a longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) preceptor are relationship-building and communication.  Trust is vital. Successful LIC teaching relationships are characterised by collaboration and teamwork.  The preceptor needs to know the student and their developmental trajectory in order to effectively invite the student into the work of the practice and support the student taking on greater and greater responsibility for patient care over the course of the LIC.  LIC preceptors also serve as crucial role models and mentors. 

Students want preceptors who engage them and create a positive, open learning environment.  They should be accessible, enthusiastic and passionate about teaching. The preceptor should elicit the student’s learning goals and mutually identify learning topics.  Students appreciate clear expectations from the preceptor, and the preceptor actively supporting patient ownership by students. 

A capable LIC preceptor should ask lots of clinical questions, directly observe students during different parts of the patient encounter, target learning topics to specific patients seen in the clinic with time set aside to follow up on them, structure the practice to support continuity of care, and fully involve the student in provision of care.  The preceptor should provide frequent feedback, using an iterative cycle of action, feedback and opportunities to act on feedback.  Teaching styles and expectations should evolve over the course of the year based on the student’s approach to learning and developmental trajectory.


Hauer KE, O’Brien B, Hansen L, Hirsh D, Ma I, Ogur B, Poncelet AN, Alexander EK, Teherani A. 2012. More Is Better: Students Describe Successful and Unsuccessful Experiences With Teachers Differently in Brief and Longitudinal Relationships.  Acad Med. 87:1389-1396.

Latessa R, Schmitt A, Beaty N, Buie S, Ray L. 2016. Preceptor Teaching Tips in Longitudinal Clerkships.  Clin Teach.13: 213-18.

Levitt DS, Cooke M. 2011. Tips for teaching in longitudinal clerkships. Clin Teach. 8: 93-96.

Teherani A, O'Brien BC, Masters DE, Poncelet AN, Robertson PA, Hauer KE. 2009. Burden, responsibility, and reward: preceptor experiences with the continuity of teaching in a longitudinal integrated clerkship. Acad Med. 84(10 Suppl): S50-53.