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SPAN set to offer medical students new opportunities for focused, longitudinal preceptorship

 |  By Karin Fleming
SPAN preceptorship

SPAN preceptorship

Starting April 2019, fourth-year medical students will participate in a new longitudinal ambulatory preceptorship, SPAN (Specialty Practice Ambulatory sub-iNternship). This new required component of the Bridges Curriculum will roll out during Career Launch and is comprised of 16 half-day sessions during which learners will work one-on-one with a preceptor in a chosen specialty or subspecialty.

It’s the first time that advanced medical students will be offered this type of preceptorship specifically designed to enhance their ambulatory skills in preparation for their residency training. SPAN builds on foundational ambulatory skills they developed during their Clinical Microsystem Clerkship and FCM 110.

“Traditionally, medical school hasn’t prioritized preparing students to practice in the outpatient setting, and being in clinic is often one of the more challenging clinical experiences in residency. The goal of SPAN is to help fourth-year students enter residency training ahead of the game—prepared to see patients in the ambulatory environment,” says Kate Lupton, MD, FACP, Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG, and SPAN Director.

She notes that the new preceptorship will help students build their toolkit of clinical skills required in the next steps of training as they prepare for residencies. Working closely with a faculty member over the course of the year will help advance students’ professional development and they will benefit from longitudinal coaching/mentoring relationships.

Compared to traditional longitudinal clerkships, SPAN offers students unique opportunities such as preceptor assignments based on each learner’s interests and career goals, the option to recruit their own preceptors and flexibility in scheduling to accommodate students’ schedule of rotations and electives and time away for residency interviews or Deep Explore projects. Many students will elect to do their SPAN experience in the field they are pursuing for residency or in a field that will provide them with relevant skills for the next stage in their training.

“During our SPAN pilot, several students recruited their own preceptors and were very satisfied with their SPAN experience,” says Pat Cornett, MD, Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Associate Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine, who helped develop the preceptorship.

“SPAN is an ideal opportunity for students to work in an ongoing, meaningful fashion with faculty who practice in a specialty or subspecialty they are interested in. We encourage students who have someone in mind or who want to do their SPAN in a specific discipline to recruit their own preceptors.”

“For students who plan to enter non-clinical or non-patient facing specialties, having additional longitudinal clinical exposure will enrich the skill sets they bring to residency training.” Katherine Lupton, MD, FACP.

Watch an informational video describing SPAN to students.

For more information on SPAN please contact Christine Phung, SPAN Administrator.