WHAT IS THE GRADUATE PRECEPTORSHIP PROGRAM?
The Graduate Preceptorship Program (GPP) is a program that allows a new graduate, while completing the licensure process, to begin practice and gain additional experience for a limited period of time under the direct supervision of a licensed and experienced practitioner.
WHAT IS A PRECEPTOR?
A preceptor is a doctor of chiropractic who is acting as a "supervisor" for a person who is a graduate of a fully accredited college of chiropractic (extern) and who is pursuing their license to practice.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRECEPTOR
As noted above, the preceptor is essentially a teacher continuing the education of a graduate who is pursuing licensure. Among other things the preceptor is required to take an active role in the supervision of the extern and be in the practice environment at all times services are being provided by the extern. The Preceptor must involve the extern in all aspects of patient care including history taking, examination, taking x-rays, treatment, preparing reports, conducting lab tests, and maintaining patient records. The preceptor must also take care to assure that patients are not misled, and are fully informed that the extern providing services is not a licensed doctor of chiropractic, and that they give their consent to receiving services from the extern. The rules [Minn. R. 2500.2515, Subd. 4 (e),] require the use of a specific informed consent form. The Preceptor should be diligent in the use of this form to avoid misunderstandings.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXTERN
As noted above, the extern must also take care to assure that patients are not misled as to the externs status. Such misunderstandings may lead to severe compromise of the relationship between the Preceptor (doctor) and the patient, including potential legal liabilities. The seemingly overwhelming urge for the Preceptor and the extern to refer to the extern as "Dr." may be misconstrued by the patient in the absence of other safeguards to prevent misunderstanding. The intern must acquire and maintain malpractice insurance during the entire period of time they are providing services to patients under this program.
In order for a doctor of chiropractic to act as a preceptor, they must have been in active practice for at least 5 years preceding the application. Moreover, of those years the 3 of them immediately preceding the application must have been in Minnesota. To acquire an application for the GPP you may either call the board office, or send an E-mail with a complete address.
An application for the GPP must be completed, submitted to the Board office with the appropriate fee, and approved. Among the other requisites above, the application must include verification that the intern will be covered by a malpractice insurance company for the period of the preceptorship. This verification must be provided by the malpractice carrier.
An application for preceptorship is good for a calendar year terminating on the anniversary of the applications approval. During that year, a preceptor may supervise more than one extern. However, with very few and specific exceptions, Preceptors may not supervise more than one extern at the same time. If the externship is terminated, for example by the extern becoming fully licensed, then the Preceptor may make arrangements to supervise another extern.
Commonly, although not necessarily, a Preceptor and an extern arrange this relationship cooperatively in advance of the application. However, they are two separate and distinct applications and should not be construed otherwise. For example, as noted above a Preceptor is approved for a calendar year and may have multiple externs (one at a time) during that period of time. Therefore, its possible that a Preceptor may not have an extern for awhile during which time they may enter into an arrangement for supervision of another extern.
If any part of the above information conflicts with the Minnesota rules or laws, the rules or laws take precedence. (See Hyperlinks) It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the regulations. Please call the Board office at 651-201-2850 if you have any questions.