In a first for the Yale Department of Psychiatry, a clinical instructor in the department has been awarded the “Outstanding Clinical Preceptor Award” for his work supervising Physician Associate (PA) students completing psychiatry rotations at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH).
Aaron Seltzer, LCSW, a clinical social worker who primarily works in the Behavioral Care Unit (BCU) in the Emergency Department at YNHH’s St. Raphael’s campus, was honored with the award at the 2019 Yale Physician Associate Graduation Ceremony held December 12, 2019.
It is the first time a Yale Department of Psychiatry instructor has received the award from PA students, and it is significant. Each PA student completes 14 clinical rotations, sometimes at more than one site and with more than one preceptor, per rotation. Each year the graduating class selects one preceptor to receive the award.
“This is an amazing accomplishment. To be the most outstanding clinical preceptor out of all rotations is remarkable,” said Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the psychiatry clerkship for medical and PA students at Yale School of Medicine. “I thought the BCU would be an excellent training site for students because it is a fast-paced environment with interesting clinical presentations and a seasoned clinical staff. But Aaron has exceeded expectations. He has embraced his role as a teacher, and the students are really benefiting from his enthusiasm and expertise. Truly great.”
In his role as preceptor, Seltzer serves as the primary clinical instructor for PA students as they complete their two-week rotations in the BCU at the St. Raphael’s campus emergency department. He teaches them about psychiatric evaluations including suicide risk assessments and mental status examinations.
In choosing Seltzer to receive the honor, the graduates touted his ability to educate and engage students, and to modify the curriculum based on their feedback.
“Mr. Seltzer was well liked by everyone that was fortunate enough to have him as a preceptor during their psychiatry rotation,” the students wrote. “He was an incredibly devoted preceptor, was fantastic with his patients, and asked for/gave frequent feedback. He was dedicated to the education of future PAs. Over the course of a few months as a preceptor, he made changes to how he taught/how the ED portion of the psychiatry rotation functioned to accommodate student feedback and allow for optimal learning.”
Besides his work in the BCU, Seltzer also cross-covers the YNHH York Street Campus Emergency Department Crisis Intervention Unit and Psychiatric Observation Unit.