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Spotlight On: Andrew Kelly

November 17, 2022

headshot of preceptor Andrew Kelly wearing glasses, white goatee, blue collared shirt and blue tieWhy did you become a preceptor/why should someone become a preceptor?
I think it was a combination of Pat Auth’s [PhD, PA, former department chair of the Physician Assistant Department] persistence and me wanting to give back to PA education, teaching things that I had to figure out over my years of practice that are not learned in school. In addition to teaching medicine and helping students prepare for their boards, I also educate them on how to build their reputation within the medical community they serve and how to grow their practice. It is important for us to become preceptors because if we do not teach new students, there will be no one to provide us with quality care when we get old. It is very important that we invite students into our exam rooms and allow them to watch how we interact with and treat patients. This is knowledge that can not be obtained in books and, in my opinion, what makes a good clinician become a great clinician.

Why is it especially important to become a preceptor now?
With the surge in PA programs in our area, there is a real shortage of rotation sites and preceptors. The clinical portion of PA education is extraordinarily important.

How did your preceptor change your life?
My first preceptorship was at a family practice, and within the first week of seeing patients, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I enjoyed caring for pediatric to geriatric patients and treating the variety of injuries, diseases, illnesses, psychiatric and wellness exams. It allowed me to utilize everything I learned in PA school. My preceptor was extraordinarily kind, gentle and genuine to everyone, including patients and staff. He was a gifted and savvy clinician with years of experience and enjoyed teaching. To this day, I still emulate him. He has since passed, and I know he would be pleased that his practice style lives on with me and other students' lives that he touched. I have made part of my preceptor mission to pass this on to my students as well.

How did becoming a preceptor change your life?
I take pride in the students that I mentor knowing that I gave them a great 10 weeks of education. I celebrate their accomplishments when they text me that they passed their boards. My students keep me young at heart.