MHSA – Resources

Becoming a Clinical Preceptor

The Mission of the VCOM-Bluefield Master of Health Science in Anesthesia Program is to educate Anesthesiologist Assistants to provide comprehensive quality anesthesia care to all, to be respectful of patient values, to be committed to ethical principles, and to be grounded in evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning. Graduates will contribute to the profession and their communities and be prepared to practice medicine in a variety of perioperative settings under the supervision of physician anesthesiologists. Graduates will be dedicated to the service of medically underserved communities and diverse patient populations.

Clinical Preceptors are faculty members within the Anesthesiologist Assistant Program overseen by the Department of Clinical Affairs. The Medical Directors of the Master of Health Science in Anesthesia Program help ensure the provision of a high caliber clinical education and are involved in the development and delivery of curriculum in both the Foundation and Integrative years. In order to ensure a high-quality, standardized clinical rotation curriculum, the Medical Directors work with the Program Faculty to develop clerkship objectives, required textbooks, clinical cases to enhance student learning, supplemental instructional videos, an online syllabus, and the comprehensive exams during each block. This standardized curriculum ensures that all students, regardless of the geographic location of their clinical rotation, will have completed the same clinical objectives and didactic lessons. At primary core rotation facilities or geographic locations, additional support for clinical education is provided in the form of a Clinical Site Coordinator.

The academic and administrative support provided by the MH.Sc. in Anesthesia Program, coupled with a well-established didactic curriculum including objectives, reading assignments, online cases, and standardized end of block comprehensive exams, ensures that all precepting clinical faculty are free to focus on perioperative clinical teaching rather than having to develop an individual curriculum or didactic components at their clinical site.

The Program Director and Medical Directors monitor the variety of cases the students are participating in through patient encounters and clinical procedure logs. The Director of Clinical Education and/or Medical Directors will meet with core clinical faculty annually to provide them with student feedback as well as to provide the clinical faculty member the opportunity to make suggestions to improve the curriculum, the rotation experience, and the preparedness of students as a whole. Clinical faculty complete student evaluations at the end of each rotation period which are made simple through a standardized evaluation form that evaluates students on very specific components in areas of required core competencies. These forms can be completed online to make the process even easier for faculty.

Benefits of Becoming a MHSA Clinical Faculty Member

In addition to the intrinsic rewards that come with student precepting, members of clinical faculty receive numerous additional benefits.  All clinical faculty receive an academic appointment with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at an academic rank commensurate with experience, access to the VCOM electronic library which enables them to access a wide range of medical textbooks and thousands of online journals from home, office, or anywhere with an internet connection, and a monetary stipend for precepting MHSA students on required clinical rotations (paid to you directly or through the medical education department of your hospital). The MHSc in Anesthesia Program will provide individual faculty development on campus, online, and in your site each year of which you may take advantage. CME opportunities exist each fall on the VCOM-Auburn campus and you will receive CME credit for precepting students as well.

Faculty Classification

Preceptors at primary core rotations are appointed as Clinical Track Faculty, which may be granted to faculty who hold academic rank, as determined by the Appointment, Promotions and Tenure Committee, and are contracted to further VCOM’s academic mission through teaching limited to the clinical setting and with less than ten hours of didactic teaching time dedicated to the education program. All clinical track faculty are considered part-time as the majority of their clinical practice teaching is in a setting that is not operated by VCOM or the academic health center.

Temporary Appointment Status

Physicians/professionals who are seeking appointment in the clinical faculty may be issued a temporary faculty appointment by the Medical Directors for up to six months while they complete the application process. However, prior to being given this temporary status, an affiliation agreement must have been signed with the institution in which the anesthesia clinician practices, or with the individual practitioner, and a valid license must be confirmed. This temporary status allows the applicant to precept students while awaiting the completion of the appointment process.

Reappointment Process

Appointed clinical faculty must complete a reappointment process every five (5) years. During the reappointment process preceptors must provide a current CV, updated board certification if applicable and their license will be verified through the appropriate state licensing body.

Becoming a Clinical Preceptor

Those interested in clinical faculty appointment must be referred to the MHSA Program through either the appropriate faculty, the Medical Directors, current clinical faculty members, or the appropriate Clinical Site Coordinator.

Interested physicians or anesthetists are required to submit the following documents:

  1. Clinical Faculty Application Cover (PDF)
  2. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  3. Copy of Applicable Board Certification
  4. Copy of Residency Completion Certificate (physician only)
  5. Copy of Medical or applicable Graduate School Diploma
  6. State License (Optional: VCOM can verify state licensure online, thus a copy of State License is not required)

To expedite the process, please submit all documents together; incomplete submissions cannot be processed.

Faculty are encouraged to contact their Clinical Site Coordinator to submit all documentation on their behalf. Upon receipt of the above items, a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) will be obtained from a Medical Director to complete the appointment application.

Once a complete application is received by the Program, materials will be presented to the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (APT) for review. If appointment is granted by the APT Committee, the applicant will receive a standard preceptor contract and appointment letter detailing the actions of the Committee.  At that time they will also be able to obtain library access privileges.

Helpful Links

Ready To Apply?

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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