Orientaing Learners to Practice Setting

Below, we have listed basic information that learners appreciate knowing during their first day in a practice.  The preceptor or other member of the practice team can meet with the learner on the first day and provide a brief orientation prior to the start of their clinical work.

Basic Practice Orientation for Student

  • Show student where to hang coat, put personal things, refrigerator for lunch (if you have one), and where to park;
  • Show student where they can read and find medical reference materials;
  • Describe student dress code for the practice: name tag, lab coat?
  • Review hours/days patient care provided;
  • Review practice phone system and mail;
  • Briefly describe patient flow and office system (e.g. records, triage, patient registration);
  • Introduce student to other staff, describe each person’s role and responsibilities as they relate to patient care;
  • Review student absentee policy and inform them about how to notify office;
  • Provide student with a contact person for questions or problems;

Introduction to community

  • Briefly describe the history of the community you serve.  If literature or a video is available, please inform student about it;
  • Ask Students to future examine resources available in the community and bring this information back to the practice

Overview of Learner and rotation

  • Relate rotation to learner’s career plans (learner background form)
  • Rotations completed
  • Areas needing work

Preceptor Expectations

Daily routine

  • Hours/ days learner in the office
  • Learner’s level of responsibility and autonomy in providing patient care
  • Other learner responsibilities (call patients, etc)
  • Amount of reading expected
  • Directions for writing chart notes, dictating, writing prescriptions, referrals
  • How pts selected for learner to see
  • Length of time to spend with each pt
  • Any relevant practice policies


  • Show respect to pts & staff; how?
  • Get to know pts?
  • Discuss your (faculty) background experiences, and career choices

Preceptor/learner interaction

  • Format for case presentations
  • Logistics for staffing or signing out patients (i.e. when and how should learner interrupt faculty?)

Regular time & process for feedback