UT Southwestern PA Program: Developing a Primary Care Preceptorship

Cohort 2019 – the first cohort to participate in the Primary Care Preceptorship 

Unique Characteristics of UT Southwestern PA Program

The UTSW PA program mission focuses on educating PAs to enter the primary care workforce to address health care disparities within medically underserved communities. We developed a core rotation, Primary Care Preceptorship (PCP), to be completed in a primary care discipline with assignments emphasizing professionalism, leadership, social determinants of health, and quality improvement. Implementation required the creation of a clinical site coordinator position to identify, recruit, and onboard new clinical sites and preceptors. This particular staff position, not seen in most PA programs, has proven beneficial in sustaining adequate levels of clinical sites with enhanced retention.

Our Program’s Impact

The PCP launched in 2019 with a cohort of 50 students. Our clinical site coordinator recruited 33 new primary care clinical sites—a significant enhancement to our current roster. To date, more than 100 students have completed the PCP. The work of our clinical site coordinator has set the stage for ongoing success and sustainability of this focused initiative. The UT Southwestern PA program is committed to fostering the education and training of students in primary care to meet the expanding health care workforce needs in Texas. Continued implementation of the PCP will prove impactful in addressing our state’s health care gaps, while aligning with our mission to promote interprofessional primary health care delivery to a diverse and dynamic population.  

You can find a copy of the PCP content outlining components for the first question, including professionalism, leadership, social determinants of health and quality improvement, in the Digital Learning Hub.

Our Surrounding Community

Dallas is a majority minority city (41.7% Hispanic, 24.1 % Black) with continued growth including native-born U.S. citizens from other states and foreign-born individuals from around the world. Dallas County is served by Parkland Health & Hospital System, one of the largest safety-net hospital systems in the country. 

Fun Fact About Dallas

It’s true—everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas is home to the largest model train exhibit, located at our nearby affiliate Children’s Medical Center; the largest state fair in the country, the State Fair of Texas; and the largest cowboy in the world, Big Tex, a 52-foot tall speaking cowboy.

This article is part of PAEA’s Program Showcases, which also includes webinars. Learn more about the series here.