Guiding the Next Generation: Insights from a Dedicated Preceptor

Daniel Medrano, M.D., a seasoned physician who has practiced in the Houston area for nearly twenty years, shares his journey and experiences as a preceptor at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, shedding light on the rewarding aspects of medical education.

Medicine, for Medrano, is not just a profession but a calling rooted in a profound sense of duty and passion for serving others. With a career spanning from medical student to intern to resident and now attending physician, Medrano felt compelled to continue the tradition of teaching in medicine. He views precepting as an opportunity to pass on his experiences and knowledge to the next generation of physicians, thus contributing to the growth and development of the medical community.

Having taught nurse practitioners and medical students prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Medrano eagerly embraced the chance to dive back into medical education when he became a preceptor at the Fertitta Family College of Medicine. For him, it rekindled his interest in the core principles of medical education and reignited his passion for mentoring future physicians.

Reflecting on his career choice, he attributes his decision on becoming a physician to his “love for science and the rich history of medicine and our victories (and many defeats) as humans against disease and suffering”.

The prospect of serving his community while working in a field that constantly evolves and adapts was both challenging and attractive. As a preceptor for over a year now he finds the energy, empathy, and curiosity of medical students to be the most refreshing aspect of his role. Medrano “enjoys the ability to help mold our future physicians and seeing how excited they can get knowing they can impact their fellow men and women.”

A typical day with medical students for him involves thorough patient discussions, hands-on learning experiences, and in-depth case analyses. From discussing clinical assignments to reviewing complex cases, each day presents opportunities for growth and learning for both the students and himself.

One of Medrano’s favorite memories as a preceptor is seeing Saba Siddiqi, MS2, gain confidence and polish her clinical skills. Witnessing her breakthrough moments and connecting classroom knowledge to real-world patient care was truly gratifying for him. Siddiqi was impressed by her experience, saying “he has provided me with support and guidance that truly allowed me to flourish and grow. Dr. Medrano imparted to me a wealth of insight and knowledge that I will forever carry throughout my journey. He is an exceptional preceptor that provided a safe environment for a curious learner, willing to answer any questions I had.”

Looking ahead, Medrano eagerly anticipates his days with medical students, recognizing that teaching not only enhances his own knowledge but also makes him a better physician. By staying engaged in medical education, Medrano continues to contribute to the advancement of medicine and the cultivation of future health care leaders.