Capt. Karen M. Salyars, USAF, MPAS, PA-C
IPAP Phase 2 Program Director, Eglin AFB, Fla.
How long have you been a preceptor?
I’ve been a family medicine preceptor since 2009—I precepted civilian PA students when I was in private practice in Colorado, and later precepted military PA students after I rejoined the military in 2010.
Why are you a preceptor?
I love to teach and help to educate and mentor our future PAs. I hope to provide them with a strong foundation of knowledge that they need to be ready to care for patients on their own after graduation. For our military PAs, that might mean an overseas deployment to an austere or remote location right after they graduate (like I did!). So I hope to give them a well-rounded education to build on during their careers.
What is the best thing about being a preceptor?
I love that the students keep me on my toes and up to date on relevant changes in medicine. Once in a while they teach ME something, and I think that is a valuable lesson for me to learn. I’ve been a PA for 10 years and it shows how much we can all strive to improve. I also love that moment when the “lightbulb” goes on for the student—when they finally get it, and are putting the pieces together appropriately. Their confidence improves so much after that happens, and it seems like such a turning point.
Interested in precepting? Learn more here.