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Am J Pharm Educ. 2010 March 10; 74(2): 33b.
PMCID: PMC2856426

Preceptor's Handbook for Pharmacists

Reviewed by Jane E. Krause, BS Pharm, MS

Preceptor's Handbook for Pharmacists.
Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2009. xvii + 260. $40.00[$36.00 ASHP member] (paperback) ISBN 978-1-58528-203-6.

According to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards 2007, introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) must comprise at least 5% and the advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) must comprise at least 25% of the curricular length of the professional portion of the degree program.1 Therefore, the need for preceptors continues to increase. In addition, colleges and schools must provide support for preceptors' continuing professional development as educators.2

Preceptor's Handbook for Pharmacists, now in its second edition, provides an excellent and comprehensive overview on the following topics as related to experiential teaching and learning: precepting fundamentals (ie, origins of precepting and new ideas for seasoned preceptors); necessary skills for effective preceptors (ie, communication, interpersonal, teaching, and leadership); establishing an effective preceptor-student relationship; important qualities of an effective mentor; goals and fundamentals of experiential teaching; law and ethics; cultural, social, and economic issues; professionalism and professional socialization; career advising; and developing partnerships with schools (ie, benefits to sites and affiliation agreements). This resource is organized into 11 chapters with each chapter including an outline of the topics discussed, learning objectives, a summary, and a thorough reference section. A complete table of contents and key word index are also included. Each chapter contains several short (ie, usually single sentence) “preceptor pearls,” which provide additional tips or insights into important topics. An appropriate quotation is found at the beginning of each chapter.

In general, the topics presented in this second edition are similar to the first edition; although, much of the information throughout the chapters is reorganized. There are 44 contributors to this text (as compared to 25 contributors for the first edition), representing a wide variety of preceptors, faculty members, and authors from around the nation. The contributors share excellent information and substantive insights based on experience, knowledge, and wisdom. This edition has been updated to be consistent with the new ACPE standards and guidelines. The trim size of this second edition has been enlarged to 7” X 10”, which makes the handbook much easier to read and utilize.

Because serving as a preceptor requires an individual to be a pharmacist and a teacher, the information shared on teaching, learning, and evaluation methods in chapters 5 and 6 is especially excellent and could serve as a starting point for preceptor development initiatives in this area. In addition, the rotation orientation checklist and examples of rotation goals and objectives included in chapter 3 as appendices are particularly helpful in the development of organized and meaningful pharmacy practice experiences.

This handbook is a valuable reference for preceptors, faculty members, and experiential program administrators. The information and insights shared would be of benefit to all preceptors regardless of practice site, years of experience, and type of pharmacy practice experience provided (introductory or advanced). A license for the electronic version of this text for use by all of a college or school's preceptors and faculty members is available through ASHP.


1. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Standard No.10: Curricular Development, Delivery, and Improvement. Accessed March 2, 2010.
2. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Standard No.26: Faculty and Staff Continuing Professional Development and Performance Review, Guideline 26.1. Available at Accessed March 2, 2010.

Articles from American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education are provided here courtesy of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy