The PA Board of California (1399.536. Requirements for Preceptors) states that clerkships (“preceptorships) are supervised by a licensed physician preceptor. Other licensed health care providers approved by a program may serve as preceptors to supplement physician-supervised clinical practice experiences. Each preceptors participating in the preceptorship of an approved program shall:
- Be a licensed health care provider who is engaged in the practice of the profession for which he or she is validly licensed and whose practice is sufficient to adequately expose preceptees to a full range of experience. The practice need not be restricted to an office setting but may take place in licensed facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, etc.
- Not have had his or her professional license terminated, suspended, or otherwise restricted as a result of a final disciplinary action (excluding judicial review of that action) by any state healing arts licensing board or any agency of the federal government, including the military, within 5 years immediately preceding his or her participation in a preceptorship.
- By reason of his or her professional education, specialty and nature of practice be sufficiently qualified to teach and supervise preceptees within the scope of his or her license.
- Teach and supervise the preceptee in accordance with the provisions and limitations of sections 1399.540 and 1399.541.
- Obtain the necessary patient consent as required in section 1399.538.
(a) It shall be the responsibility of the approved program to ensure that preceptors comply with the foregoing requirements.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "licensed health care provider" includes, but is not limited to, a physician and surgeon, a physician assistant, a registered nurse certified in advanced practices, a certified nurse midwife, a licensed clinical social worker, a marriage and family therapist, a licensed educational psychologist, and a licensed psychologist
During clerkships, PA students may write orders for medications, treatments, etc., provided that:
- Any medically-related activity performed by students be under the direction of a licensed health care provider who has meet criteria as a preceptor as defined above.
- The students are assigned to or are consultants to the service on which the order pertains; and
- A licensed health care provider countersigns all orders before the orders are executed.
The PA Board of California (Laws and Regulations Relating to the Practice of Physician Assistants, Section 3510) also requires that a trainee enrolled in an approved program for physician assistants shall at all times wear an identification badge on an outer garment and in plain view, which states the student's name and the title:
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDENT or PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT TRAINEE
PA students will identify their signatures with PA-S (PA Student), just as licensed PA identify their signatures with PA-C.
PA students are not to be involved in any portion of the medical care of other PA students.