I was a student of Heather’s during the Spring 2019 semester while finishing up the WHNP program at Vanderbilt University. Heather was quick to take me as a student, which was a HUGE relief, since finding clinical preceptors can be a daunting task. She is an incredibly selfless preceptor and goes above and beyond to teach her students. Not only did she prove to be an amazing preceptor, but she has taken the role of my mentor and friend!
While in the clinic, Heather allowed me to sit in on all of her patient appointments. She was working in a clinic that specialized in menopause and sexual dysfunction, so the majority of her appointments were 30-60 minute long consultations. She was very thorough with each of her patients and got a complete background of their medical history and their current symptoms/concerns. She would take the time to explain everything to her patients and allow them to ask any questions they may have had. Often times, patients would report that no medical provider had ever asked these questions before or delved this deep into their medical/sexual history. Her passion for this patient population was contagious. After the appointment concluded, Heather would allow me to ask questions about the appointment and have her further explain some of her reasoning and decision making. Once I sat in on enough of the appointments, Heather let me consult with some of our patients. It was an unbelievable learning experience that I will use with me in my future practice.
In addition to seeing menopausal and sexual dysfunction patients, we saw a variety of other GYN patients including well-woman visits, STI diagnosis and management, vaginitis diagnosis and management, menstrual irregularity/abnormal uterine bleeding, and much more. There were also a variety of clinical procedures that she performed at her clinic including IUD insertions and removal, endometrial biopsy, transvaginal ultrasounds, CO2 laser treatment, hormone pellet insertions, etc. As a new student in the clinical setting, I was not yet trained to perform these procedures, but Heather would allow me to shadow and talk me through each procedure. As I got more comfortable in the clinical setting, she also allowed me to complete the health history and perform some clinical skills during well-woman visits.
After completing my clinical rotation at Heather’s clinic, I have kept in close touch with her. She has been a guiding hand for me throughout the job search process. She has helped improve my resume, look over cover letters, write job references, and talk me through tough decisions when it came to accepting a job.
I had no idea the impact that Heather would have on my career when I took my clinical rotation with her. She has proved to be an exceptional preceptor, educator, and mentor. Her passion for women’s health and educating future clinicians allows her to excel as a preceptor.