Information for pierce preceptors

Franklin Pierce is a private, non-profit, regionally accredited University where every student can discover their passion and greatest potential. Frank S. DiPietro, who founded the college in 1962 and served as Pierce’s first president, maintained the perspective that “only the small college can provide the intimate relationships between those who learn and those who teach.”

Now celebrating our 60th anniversary, the University remains committed to this vision. With an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and a sense of place, the community of educators at Pierce prepares every graduate for life on the other side of a degree through a combination of personalized and experiential teaching.

In 2007, the first Franklin Pierce PA program was established in New Hampshire. The new Hybrid PA Program in Goodyear, AZ will matriculate its first cohort of students in June 2022. Our 24-month PA program awards the Master of PA Studies degree and assists student preparation for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and state licensure.

The first-year pre-clinical curriculum involves a technology-rich distance learning experience including online classes, video-based course work, and patient simulation. Four scheduled on-campus immersion weeks throughout the program allow students to interact with their peers and faculty, attend workshops and seminars, practice skills testing, and practice with standardized patients.

The second year provides hands-on opportunities for supervised clinical practice experience under the guidance of well-practiced preceptors and the support of faculty and subject matter experts. The clinical year takes students from the theoretical classroom setting to an active, hands-on learning environment.

Preceptors are an integral part of the teaching program.

YOU ARE THE KEY to successful supervised clinical practice experiences for the student. The PA student will work closely with YOU, learning from your advice and example. With your guidance and supervision, the student will progressively develop and demonstrate the professional behaviors, clinical reasoning, judgement, and skills necessary to practice medicine as a competent member of a collaborative medical team.



  • The joy of teaching
  • Students are a potential source as future employees
  • Students are savvy about new technology
  • PA Preceptors can earn Category I CME credits
  • Physicians can earn Category II credits
  • PA students help educate your colleagues and patients about the PA profession
    It feels good to give back to the medical profession

  • PA students are energetic, highly motivated, adult learners.
  • Many preceptors derive great satisfaction from passing on their knowledge and watching students learn and grow.
  • Preceptors often find that students bring informed, up-to-date medical knowledge to the site, especially in pharmacology and medical therapeutics.
  • Students bring knowledge of how to access the latest electronic sources of information.
  • PA students also help to educate other providers and patients about PAs and the PA profession.
  • One of the greatest benefits of precepting is that it is a wonderful recruiting tool. Taking a student for a 6-week rotation is an excellent way to try out a potential new employee.
  • Approximately one-third of PAs find their first jobs through clinical rotations. During the clinical rotation, you can test their ability to learn new skills and see whether the student is a good fit for your practice.

  • Good teaching and supervision take time. However, PA students can often add productive time to the preceptor’s day overall. The student can greet the patient and do the history and physical examination. This allows the preceptor time to do something else– administrative tasks, paperwork, make phone calls.
  • PA students do not need to see every patient that the preceptor sees. The PA profession embraces the team approach to the practice of medicine, so PA students can also work with and learn from other clinicians in the practice.
  • Optimize your time commitment - assist with teaching our clinical skills workshops or boot camps.

  • Many sites do require documentation related to HIPAA, background checks, immunizations, and the like. However, the PA program facilitates completion of much of the required institutional paperwork, develops the affiliation agreement, and schedules the students.
  • How many students you will precept each year and the length of the affiliation agreement are negotiated with the PA program.
  • No special certification is required to precept a student.
  • Liability for the student lies with program.



If you have questions please contact:
Michael Gengle, DDS, MSM, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education
(623) 925-4907