5 Pearls on How to Impress Your Preceptor on Clinical Rotations

I’ve had a lot of students come with me on rotation.  I’ve had some future rock stars work with me as well as some students that have left a little more to be desired.  How do you avoid striking out on your rotation or internship? Here are 5 ways on how to impress your preceptor on clinical rotations.


  1. Never Be Late. I know, I know, its a double standard that your preceptor can be.  Always show up a AT LEAST few minutes before you are expected to be there.  It is common sense and professional.  In the event you are going to be late, let them know ASAP.
  2. Ask questions.  Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in what you are doing.  The type of question you ask also says a lot about your skill level as well.  Take two questions: “Does lisinopril cause hyperkalemia?” VERSUS “What would you do if this patient had a potassium of 5.6 on lisinopril?”  The first one you could look up in Google.  The second one shows a greater understanding and that you are trying to figure out how to clinically apply drug information and critically think about patient scenarios.
  3. Speak at Appropriate Times.  If you are in a team meeting with numerous healthcare professionals, this is not the time discuss a patient case with another student potentially interrupting the meeting.
  4. Be Bold.  Ask to do things you want to do.  This shows initiative, plus you get to experience new things and see if you like them.
  5. Be a “Yes” Man or Woman.  When you are asked to do a project say yes.  Most preceptors are very willing to give you time to work on projects.

If you are a pharmacist or recent student, feel free to add your thoughts below – also subscribe to the blog and get my 30 medication mistakes; a free 6 page PDF based upon my real world experiences as a clinical pharmacist!


Written By Eric Christianson

November 4, 2015

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