Information for Preceptors

How can my organization participate?
This process is designed to permit sufficient time for students and organizations to identify a good fit and to reduce anxiety. The earlier a site notifies the Program about a potential project or opportunity, the more likely it will be to interview appropriate candidates. Students are anxious to finalize their summer plans early and many will have accepted offers by April or early May. 

To secure your place in the summer internship program, please complete the Organization Registration Form online or mail in a hard copy by the first week of March. Each year there are more internship opportunities available than MPH students. In order to attract the top applicants, it is important to submit your registration form early. We will circulate your information to all students as soon as we receive it.If you have any questions or need more information about the program, please contact Dr. Laura Erskine, at (310) 825-4807.

Our Students 
Students in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management are well positioned to make a meaningful contribution to your organization.During their first year, these students will have taken a broad range of courses to develop their management and policy analysis skills. All students will have completed a two-quarter foundational course examining the American health care system. In addition, students will have completed courses in accounting, financial management, biostatistics, economics, quality improvement, evaluation, and policy analysis. The average entering GPA is 3.5 and they have approximately 2 full-time years of working experience. For a more detailed listing of the course work, please view the Curriculum Matrix.

Developing an Appropriate Placement
Each student and assignment is individual. Each relationship between the student and the preceptor is unique. Flexibility is important. Students and projects vary as to required supervision. One student may have a major project within one Department of the organization while another student may have several smaller projects from a variety of organizational sub-units. Some placements are predetermined and require the student to fit into the specified conditions. Other placements are flexible and built around the students' specific skills and interests. The work should be flexible enough that the student can be exposed to a variety of meetings and decision-making at all levels of the organization. Regardless of the nature of the placement, the students' work should be valued by the organization and make a contribution to meeting the organization's goals or mission. The diversity of student background permits a variety of projects in which students can participate. Examples of recent student projects include:

  • A managed care integration training program for physicians;
  • Clinical Reminders for Nurses and Physicians Treating Cancer Assessment of Quality of Care at Bay Cities Assisted Living Facility;
  • Workflow System Implementation at Valley's Healthcare Management Consulting;
  • Medical Staff development plan for a community medical center;
  • Developing a disaster alternative care site for an academic medical center;
  • Evaluating the purchase of 3rd party excess loss insurance and managing financial risk;
  • Developing Policy and Program Recommendations for Childhood Obesity Prevention;
  • Hospital cost control analysis
  • Preliminary feasibility study for a diabetes management center at an urban Medical Center;
  • Marketing analysis of the Chinese community use of health services;
  • Measurement tools for a physician incentive program in a managed care organization;
  • Patient flow analysis of same day surgery unit;
  • Needs assessment of under-served populations for maternal and child health care services;
  • Improving Data Collection Process for HIV Disclosure Services Patient satisfaction evaluation;
  • Restrictive Formulary System Evaluation;
  • Strategic plan for hospital technology assessment and acquisition;
  • Development of a business continuity plan for National American HMO;
  • Competitive Intelligence Processes for Hospital Strategic Planners;
  • VA Office of Asset Management: Developing a Business Plan.

The Role of the Preceptor & the Organization
The Field Program introduces the student to a high level of professional skill and expertise in the health industry. In this manner, students develop their potential. To accomplish this, the Department considers the following when selecting preceptors and placement sites:

  • A Public Health or related graduate degree or equivalent combination of degree and experience;
  • An interest in and willingness to foster the student's learning experience;
  • Opportunities for the student to be exposed to a variety of organizational departments, individuals, functions and tasks;
  • Student accessibility to the preceptor through a commitment to meeting with the student on a regular weekly basis to discuss and critique the student's work and progress;
  • Centrality of the task to the institution and evolving health care industry;
  • Adequate financial and organizational support;
  • Opprotunities for students' professional growth;
  • Access for students to any data required conducting their projects.

Please download our Preceptor Guidelines for further information on how to work effectively with a student.The student's responsibility is to:

  • Behave as emerging professionals
  • Participate in setting goals for own learning;
  • Fulfill the requirement of a full-time position for a minimum of 10 weeks;
  • Behave in an ethically and morally professional manner;
  • Perform professional quality work;
  • Conduct themselves consistent with the values of the organization;
  • Complete academic work and assigned papers relating to the Field Placement.

The Role of the Health Policy and Management Department
The Department values it's relationship with professional organizations in the health care community. We anticipate the student will behave in a manner that will contribute to nurturing these relationships. The program is responsible for the students and will be evaluating their progress and achievement. The Department works closely with the student and the preceptor in the development of the student's Field Study Project. Program Faculty will be available to discuss and consult with students or preceptors on any concerns regarding the placement. The Program Director makes site visits as needed to placements in regional Los Angeles. Site visits allow the preceptor, the student and the Program Director to share progress on the Field Study report, to assess the value of the organization's placement, evaluate the value of the student's placement, and solidify the relationship of the preceptor organization and UCLA.

A long-standing tradition is that interns in professional programs be remunerated as developing professionals. Historical precedent guides compensation levels. Occasionally, private community based agencies and public sector organizations cannot afford minimum student wages. Students may accept a small stipend or smaller salary if they anticipate the quality of the projects on which they work will provide them with exceptional professional development. 

Placement Timeline
The internship timeline loosely follows the major milestones identified here:

January-FebruaryRecruitment mailing to potential preceptors
MarchPreceptor Recognition and Student Networking Event
March-MayInformational and job interviews
Mid JuneWill have secured internships
Mid June-Early JulyInternships begin
1st week of InternshipContract and Scope of Work submitted to internship office
4th week of InternshipProposal for consulting project due
Late SeptemberInternships end
Late DecemberCompleted consulting reports mailed to preceptors

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