Have you ever wanted to give back to your profession in a way that would have a long-lasting impact? Have you considered being a preceptor before but have questions about the role?

The Mississippi State University Master of Physician Assistant Studies has the perfect opportunity for you - Becoming a Mississippi State University PA student preceptor! Your generous participation will have a lifelong impact on the PA student, and will be personally rewarding with the knowledge that you have had a primary role in mentoring the next generation of Mississippi PA providers.

Additional benefits:

  • Consideration for adjunct faculty status at MSU
  • Category II CME or equivalent credits
  • Access to quality student recruits

Clinical Rotations

  • Each clinical rotation is 5 weeks except the Family Medicine rotation is 10 weeks.
  • The required clinical rotations include:
    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Emergency Medicine
    • General Surgery
    • Pediatrics
    • Women’s Health
    • Behavioral Medicine
  • 2 elective rotations will be completed

Preceptor Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a preceptor?

You are eligible to serve as a preceptor if you are:

  • A medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), physician assistant (PA), and nurse practitioner (NP).
  • Licensed and in good standing with your state licensing board and medical specialty board.
  • Board certified in the area of instruction.
  • At least one year experience in current discipline.
  • Interest in engaging in physician assistant student education 
  • Access to MSU library database      

What kind of clinical experiences is the program seeking for clinical rotations?

All second year PA students are required to complete clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, behavorial medicine, and women’s health. All rotations with the exception of family medicine (10 weeks) are 5 weeks. In addition, students will have the opportunity to select two (5) week elective that can be completed in any specialty or subspecialty. Students are expected to carry the schedule of the preceptor, including on-call, weekend, and nursing home rounds. 

What can I expect from a second year MPAS student?

Second year students should be able to perform comprehensive and focused histories, and physical examinations. While their clinical reasoning skills will strengthen over the course of the clinical year, the student should be able to develop a list of differential diagnoses and determine the next steps in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions.

The student should have basic skills in patient education and counseling related to common medical problems and be prepared to practice medical procedures.

How do I incorporate a student into my practice setting?

Effective preceptors create an atmosphere that allows the student appropriate learning opportunities. It is typical on the first day or two to allow the student to become oriented to the practice and observe the preceptor. Then after a preceptor observes the student performing history and physical examinations, and feels comfortable with their skills, they should be able to progress to doing these without direct observation. The student then can present the patient to the preceptor, discuss possible next steps, and complete the patient visit with the preceptor confirming the student’s findings. The program recommends periodic direct observation throughout the rotation.

Students also need to practice clinical procedures as opportunities arise. This includes phlebotomy, starting IVs, wound care, splinting and pap smears, which are taught in the first year and need to be reinforced throughout the clinical year. Students in a surgical setting need to be involved in the pre- and postoperative management of patients, and as appropriate, should assist in surgery.

Are the student and institution covered in the event of a malpractice claim?

Both the student and Mississippi State University are insured in the event of a malpractice claim. For additional information, please contact the program at

Are the students trained for OSHA and HIPAA?

Our students are trained and aware of HIPAA and OSHA regulations and have been trained in post-exposure incident management. In addition, we require proof of full immunization before the start of clinical rotations and we perform annual tuberculosis screening.

Can I earn CME when I precept students?

The Mississippi State University Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program recognizes the integral and important role of preceptors in educating our PA students, and will recognize this contribution in a variety of ways including certificates for Category II CME credit. Additional means of recognizing preceptors are being pursued. At any time, we welcome your input in making this a valuable experience for preceptors.

Whom should I contact to become a preceptor?

Contact the program at