ComEx preceptorship rotations must be completed only with healthcare providers who have been previously approved by the program. It is your responsibility to ascertain if a healthcare provider has been approved prior to beginning your rotation. If they have not been previously approved, you will not receive credit for the rotation.
There are three ways to schedule a ComEx preceptorship:
- Create your own ComEx preceptorship.
- Utilize the Student Contact Preceptor Database
- Complete a ComEx Lottery Request Form online
If you know of a healthcare provider with whom you would like to work, first ascertain if they are already in our ComEx database of approved Student Contact preceptors (available on the password-protected ComEx Moodle page). If they are not found in Moodle, contact the Clinical Education Coordinator, Vanessa Reeves, to ask if they are an approved ComEx preceptor. If not, the healthcare provider must apply and be approved at least two weeks prior to the date you wish to begin your rotation. You can direct prospective preceptors to the eligibility criteria and online application under Information for Preceptors. Once the preceptor is approved, they will be notified by the Clinical Education Coordinator, and you may schedule your rotation. If you also wish to be notified, please make sure that your contact information is included with the application.
Who to Contact/Who to Consider?
- Consider asking your personal healthcare providers.
- Search the internet for healthcare providers in your area – try narrowing your searches by zip code, specialty/area of focus, therapeutic modality.
- Ask fellow students, friends or family who may have contacts. Students who have personal contacts are the most successful in finding a preceptor in a timely manner.
- Check the NUNM website for alumni doctors.
- Check the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OANP) website for doctors in Oregon.
- Check the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) website for doctors around the country.
Tips for approaching a potential preceptor
Before you contact any healthcare providers make sure you know what you want to say to them by using the Elevator Pitch worksheet for your Preceptorship “Unique Self Presentation” (USP).
Determine if it is best to visit in person, call or email. Be sure to let them know you will follow up using another form of communication if you have not had a response in a week.
If possible, visit the site in person
- Introduce yourself to the office personnel (office manager), and if possible, the healthcare provider. If you can only get in touch with the office manager, ask if they can provide you with the email address of the provider.
- Ask if they would be interested in serving as a clinical preceptor and if you can schedule a time to discuss this possibility.
- Have a copy of your resume or CV with you to show them. Ask the provider about their practice and background. Explain how many hours you need. The clinical days should be determined by the site/preceptor needs and availability.
- You can direct them to further information for preceptors found on the ComEx website, including eligibility criteria and student evaluation standards.
- Follow up with them in a few days (this can be done by phone).
- If the provider agrees to precept, please ask them to complete the ComEx Preceptor Application, available on the ComEx website. Once the application is received, the prospective preceptor will be contacted by our office to schedule a site visit if they are local, or to complete a site information form.
- Students CANNOT begin ComEx hours until the preceptor has received approval.
Contacting a potential preceptor by phone:
- Call and ask to speak to the healthcare provider. Let them know if a particular person has referred you to them and tell them why you are interested in working with them.
- If the provider you contact is not interested or not available to be your preceptor, try asking them if they know of any provider who might be interested. (Always ask for referrals)
- If you are unable to speak with the potential preceptor, leave a message using the Elevator Pitch worksheet.
- If you are having trouble connecting with the healthcare provider:
- Please do not give up or take it personally if they do not respond right away.
- Tell the Office Manager your USP and ask them if you can leave a message or have the provider’s email address. Office Managers are often “gate keepers” and can help you in your efforts.
- If possible, it is best to leave a message or voice mail for the provider.
The ComEx program maintains a database of approved ComEx preceptors that students may contact directly (view the database on Moodle). This database contains information about the provider, including where they are located and areas of practice focus. These providers have agreed to receive direct communication from students in regard to scheduling rotations.
The same guidelines as noted above can be used for contacting already approved ComEx preceptors. Do not assume that are will always be available at the times you require, and be courteous if a provider is unable to accommodate you. Always be ready with your USP and your resume or CV when contacting a ComEx preceptor directly.
The ComEx Lottery should be the last option you try for obtaining a ComEx rotation, as it does not guarantee you a placement, and you have fewer options for the type of preceptorship you would like to have. You should not rely on the ComEx Lottery for obtaining your preceptorship hours. Priority is given to students who are graduating and whose availability corresponds with the ComEx Lottery Physicians.
The Lottery form can be completed online (see link below). Students will be scheduled by the Registrar’s office with ComEx preceptors and prioritized according to their graduation date, desired preceptor, and schedule availability. Again, the ComEx Lottery does not guarantee placement with a preceptor and should not be the only method by which you schedule your ComEx hours.
Lottery Physician Schedule (on Moodle, updated quarterly)