Horrible preceptor


So, the last 2 days I was assigned to a pediatrician who started out ok, but by the 2nd day was so extremely rude to me, I felt I was literally sitting with Satan himself. The guy also shared that he didn't feel NP's should practice in primary care. The rest of the time he belittled me, belittled parents, his staff as well, and was so rough with the pediatric patients i almost got sick watching it.

I just left at lunch the 2nd day in. I literally just told the staff I had to go pick up my son at school, and just walked out. I refuse to go back.

Emailed my instructors who said they'd try to find me another site. For that I'm grateful ...

But the whole experience was so horrific -- just a doc from a very reputable school who already had me intimidated, but then used his position to belittle me and quiz me at a very rapid pace on obscure topics, lecturing me on chemistry topics, etc -- crap that of course, we don't get in NP school -- only HE got in med school, etc, etc. I think he literally was punishing ME for all the NP's he dislikes.

Such a horrible experience ...all I can say is I do feel I did the right thing by walking out. We aren't docs, we aren't med school grads, but we're not stupid either and don't deserve to be treated that way.

There are some TERRIBLE physicians out there -- beware.


137 Posts

Geez why even precept? someone drop the ball there. But the climate is like that out there for NPs, some doctors just dont know how to appreciate what we can bring to the table but hey were here to stay!


394 Posts

I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. Makes you wonder why he even agreed to precept in the first place? I hope your school can find a better placement for you. Are you able to make any of your own arrangements? I go to school in a different state than the one I live (not an on-line program) so I am on my own to find preceptors. It is a little nerve-wracking to call providers myself, but the payoff is that I am being precepted by NPs with excellent reputations. At the very least, I am learning to take control of my own education! If you have had good preceptors, maybe you can call them and ask for a recommendation?


1,016 Posts

Am already calling around to find my own assignment and, yes, am going back to prior preceptors for suggestions. I am disgusted wtih my school for placing me with such an individual. The ones I've found on my own were really the best -- but if NP educattors want to improve life for all of us, and improve the reputation of NP's in general, they really need to do a better job of finding folks to teach us. I have no idea why it is not more formalized ...do med students really have to go out and find their own preceptors? I would think not.

allnurses Guide


3 Articles; 5,581 Posts

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 12 years experience.

It doesn't sound like this guy was a nice person, and maybe he wasn't even a good practitioner.

Did you talk to him directly about it?

It sounds like the bridge is burned already, but do look back and reflect on it. There will be people like this in practice that you will have to work with or work for. Think a bit about things:

1.) Was he really belittling you? Or by putting you on the spot through quizzing you was he making you uncomfortable about your preparedness? This is the medical model in action. You may not know the answer, but you need to begin to think through to formulate an answer.

2.) Did you handle it in the most professional way possible? Did you directly speak to him about his teaching style and how it was making you feel? What happens the first time you are in charge of a patient and a family member tries to kick you from the room because they don't like what you are saying? What about when a specialist provider tries to put your patient on a med you don't agree with? Differences of opinion are common in practice.

3.) Did you attempt to solve this on your own? When you are out working, you are the problem solver. There is often no option to turf it to someone else and run away.

4.) You have dished out blame to the preceptor and the school, is there any blame on you? Could you have done things differently?

Good luck in your new placement an with the rest of school.


1,016 Posts

Boston -- thanks for the questions, and I am honestly reflecting on it. Yes, he DID make me feel uncomfortable about my preparedness ...but with my current level of education, I could NEVER, EVER compete with HIS level of knowledge. He has an undergrad in chemistry and an MD degree with 23 years of experience in the field -- I have neither. I am not at his level and never will be. Why would he feel the need to nail me down so hard? I have worked with other MD's as preceptors and it was a wonderful experience. They worked with me where I was in a realistic manner ... I learned way more that way.

No, I didn't talk to him -- I just left. didn't want to go back and speak to him directly because he seemed like such a hostile individual. Was muttering asides about how he "knows he's a pr*ck, and when people tell him that he just throws them out of his office, locks the door and calls the police." Sorry -- he just frightened me. His treatment of the children was also appalling.

But I get what your'e saying -- there will be hostile patients, other hostile personalities to deal with. I guess I need to toughen up, but I also refuse to allow someone to treat me so poorly. I don't feel it's necessary. I don't know what i could have done differently. I showed up in good faith, took notes, followed him into every room, attempted to watch and learn. Kept my mouth shut. What else could I do?


394 Posts

I totally agree with you 110%. I get very frustrated that I pay my school quite a bit of money and really don't get much support. It is also frustrating getting turned down by providers when I know they have medical students all the time. Along those same lines, I have already decided that once I feel competent, I will precept as much as possible and work hard to be the best teacher I can be!


22 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, Allergy & Asthma. Has 6 years experience.

I feel your pain. I also had a terrible experience my very last semester of NP school. Felt very belittled and as if the physician expected me to know things that were completely above my head... Thank goodness they were not hostile, but instead of feeling great about finishing up school and moving on, I was feeling like a complete idiot. I spoke with the director of my program and she quickly agreed I needed to find something else (our institution made us find our own preceptors). I ended up leaving after about 4 weeks and I simply told this physician that I felt I needed to be with an NP to finish out school because I needed to understand more about that role. I also said I appreciated the time they put in and I sent a thank you card.

Honestly I can't believe I even stuck it out for 4 weeks. I came away every day I was there in tears. So I totally understand how you feel. Hopefully you can find someone else who doesn't belittle you. I ended up having a wonderful semester with an NP who informed me I was not a moron. I recently passed the ANCC and now work for a physician in a private practice who is WONDERFUL and loves teaching the specialty.

My point? This too shall pass. Don't make any physician make you feel inadequate. Yes, we do not get as much training as they do, and yes, they know more about biology and chemistry. But we are just as valuable and bring another skill set to the table- compassion, empathy, and caring (stuff they don't learn enough about in med school). Good luck and keep on trucking!!!