During the summer between Phases I and II, medical students have 10 weeks off. During this time, we offer a 4-week rural clinical preceptorship in a variety of towns around Colorado depending on student interest and preceptor availability. By definition, these sites are generally NOT within commuting distance to Denver and living in the rural community is part of the experience.
During this preceptorship, students work closely with the preceptor and his/her partners to gain an in-depth understanding of the professional, community and personal life of a rural physician. This is largely a clinical experience, but students are encouraged to interact with community members, attend community events, and envision themselves as a healthcare professional in the community they are assigned.
Students who participate in this rural preceptorship receive work study. Housing is provided for the student through Colorado AHEC and we try (but cannot guarantee) that overnight spouse/family/SO visitation is permitted. Pets cannot be accommodated in housing that we provide. Some students choose to find their own housing with family or friends.
We survey interested students and potential preceptors and try to have matching done by April, but some matches are made later. The dates for these preceptorships are flexible within the 10 weeks of the summer, but generally coincide with Phase III blocks because some preceptorship sites also take Phase III students and we try to not overlap their starting and ending dates. We do our best to accommodate each student’s date and location preferences, but remember, it’s about the experience!
Summer Preceptorship Expectations
“The summer preceptorship was a reinforcement to me that being a rural practitioner is exactly what I want to be. I got a taste of what I dream my future life to be like and it was fantastic.”
“As a member of the rural track we are afforded many opportunities to implement skills and knowledge earlier in our training. As a first-year medical student I was equipped with a greater number of practical skills and due to the nature of rural practice, was also rewarded with greater trust and autonomy from my rural preceptor. I was able to practice suturing, injections, and was even first-assistant on several OR procedures.”
“A great opportunity to shake off the textbook stupor after first year, immerse yourself in a new community, and gain perspective on what it is like to practice rural primary care.”