During the past four years we have evaluated a preceptor program which has been required for all medical students at the University of Wisconsin since 1925. Opinions of alumni and students on a variety of items, a historical note, and restatement of the objectives and methods of the program based, in part, on our studies are included in this report.
A preceptor is traditionally envisaged as a physician who gives a highly personal training to an undergraduate medical student. The usual picture of a preceptor is that of a general practitioner in a rural setting with a student accompanying him in his manifold medical activities. In earlier days the terms preceptorship and apprenticeship were used interchangeably to describe the predominant system of medical education in the United States. From the founding of the colonies until the establishment of the first department of medicine at Philadelphia in 1765, medical schools