Does one size fit all? A survey of preceptor perceptions and experiences with remote rotations




Experiential learning, Pharmacy education, Preceptor, Remote, Virtual learning


Background: During the pandemic, experiential rotations transitioned from in-person to remote rotations.

Methods: The authors surveyed preceptors about their experiences and perceptions of remote rotations. Preceptors completed an online questionnaire divided into six domains: 1) General demographics; 2) Preceptor/student relationship; 3) Preceptor support and continuing professional development opportunities; 4) Technology; 5) Preceptor perceptions; and 6) Motivators and challenges. Responses were coded and analysed for emerging themes.

Results: A total of 47 out of 157 preceptors (30%) responded to the questionnaire, and most preceptors were willing to precept remotely again (85%). Student responsiveness (87%) and enjoyment of teaching (83%) were the greatest motivators. Major themes reflected the preceptor’s struggles in building rapport and facilitating in-the-moment learning opportunities. Preceptors identified guidance and on-going support as key factors to ensure preceptor and student readiness and to manage expectations. The formula for a successful rotation included careful consideration of appropriate pedagogy, technology, and a dose of motivation.

Conclusion: Preceptors reflected a positive experience in leading remote rotations. Traditional precepting approaches employed during in-person rotations need to be adapted and individualised for the context of remote rotations, highlighting that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Transitioning to a remote environment generates new opportunities and drives innovation.


Abraham, H. N., Opara, I. N., Dwaihy, R. L., Acuff, C., Brauer, B., Nabaty, R., & Levine, D. L. (2020). Engaging third-year medical students on their internal medicine clerkship in telehealth during COVID-19. Cureus, 12(6), e8791.

Ackman, M. L., & Romanick, M. (2011). Developing preceptors through virtual communities and networks: Experiences from a pilot project. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP).

Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada. (2017). AFPC educational outcomes for first professional degree programs in pharmacy in Canada 2017. Retrieved Sept 15 2022, from

Cooley, J., Larson, S., & Stevens, A. (2021). What does experiential education look like in a global pandemic? Reflecting back and looking forward. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 13(7), 881‒884.

Erlingsson, C., & Brysiewicz, P. (2017). A hands-on guide to doing content analysis. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 7(3), 93‒99.

Fuller, K. A., Heldenbrand, S. D., Smith, M. D., & Malcom, D. R. (2020). A paradigm shift in US experiential pharmacy education accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 84(6), ajpe8149.

Hatcher, T. M., Schoen, R. R., Garmong, G. E., & Stewart-Lynch, A. L. (2022). Student pharmacist perspectives of a remote ambulatory care and community pharmacy dual-cohort APPE. Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 36(6), 1505–1515.

Hayes, J. R., Johnston, B., & Lundh, R. (2020). Building a successful, socially-distanced family medicine clerkship in the COVID crisis. PRiMER, 4, 34.

Ho, J., Susser, P., Christian, C., DeLisser, H., Scott, M. J., Pauls, L. A., Huffenberger, A. M., Hanson, C. W.,3rd, Chandler, J. M., Fleisher, L. A., & Laudanski, K. (2021). Developing the eMedical student (eMS)-A pilot project integrating medical students into the tele-ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 73.

Hundal, A. K., Watterson, T. L., & Hayes, K. N. (2021). Addressing the challenges of precepting students enrolled in remote research advanced pharmacy practice experiences. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 85(5), 8311.

Johnson, D. S. (2019). Thinking outside the box: Are we ready for teleprecepting to expand training and practice venues? Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 40(3), 215‒222.

Johnson, D., Gatewood, E., Ling, A., & Kuo, A. C. (2022). Teleprecepting: A timely approach to clinical education during COVID-19. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 34(1), 153‒159.

Kang-Birken, S. L., Law, E. J., Moon, Y. S., Lee, A. J., Haydon, A. L., & Shek, A. (2022). Assessing preceptor and student perceptions of remote advanced pharmacy practice experience learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacy, 10(5), 103.

Law, E., Scott, M. C., Moon, Y. S. K., Lee, A. J., Bandy, V. T., Haydon, A., Shek, A., & Kang-Birken, S. L. (2021). Adapting pharmacy experiential education during COVID-19: Innovating remote preceptor resources, tools, and patient care delivery beyond virtual meetings. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 78(18), 1732‒1738.

Louiselle, K., Elson, E. C., Oschman, A., & Duehlmeyer, S. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pharmacy learners and preceptors. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 77(14), 1097‒1099.

Montepara, C. A., Schoen, R. R., Guarascio, A. J., McConaha, J. L., & Horn, P. J. (2021). Health-system implementation of a collaborative core curriculum for advanced pharmacy experiential education during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 78(10), 890‒895.

Moreau, C., Maravent, S., Hale, G. M., & Joseph, T. (2021). Strategies for managing pharmacy experiential education during COVID-19. Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 34(1), 7‒10.

Northern Ontario School of Medicine. (2020). Best practices – Supervising learners while providing virtual care. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from

Rand, M. L., & Pajarillo, E. J. Y. (2015). A robust social and professional connection between master educator and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) student instructor: Virtual mentoring and preceptorship via distance education. Nurse Education Today, 35(5), 69‒699.

Strawbridge, J., Hayden, J. C., Robson, T., Flood, M., Cullinan, S., Lynch, M., Morgan, A. T., O'Brien, F., Reynolds, R., Kerrigan, S. W., Cavalleri, G., Kirby, B. P., Tighe, O., Maher, A., & Barlow, J. W. (2022). Educating pharmacy students through a pandemic: Reflecting on our COVID-19 experience. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 18(7), 3204‒3209.

Weddle, K. J., Kiel, P. J., Crawford, B. S., Gass, M. J., & Smith, J. A. (2020). Virtually there: An innovative approach for training oncology pharmacy residents in gynecologic oncology. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 60(6), e319‒e323.

Zhu, C., & Brown, T.E.R. (2021). Determining the best practices for remote experiential rotations. Pharmacy Education, 20(2) 149‒159.




How to Cite

Lam, B., Sivakumaran, G., Bjelajac Mejia, A., & Kwan, D. (2024). Does one size fit all? A survey of preceptor perceptions and experiences with remote rotations. Pharmacy Education, 24(1), p. 146–153.



Research Article