September 21, 2021
Dr. Le and Dr. Som are Committed to PA Education Through Preceptorship
April 15, 2019
By Sarah Blugis
Dr. B. Andy Le and Dr. Linda Som, the 2019 recipients of the Preceptor of the Year Award, have dedicated their lives to providing care in an underserved community: the refugee population in Phoenix, Arizona. The husband and wife pair are co-founders of Arizona Medical Clinic (AMC), where both practice and see patients from several countries, including Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, Syria, Burundi, Somalia, Kenya, Cuba, and more.
“Our clinic is able to interpret nine different languages to meet the demand of our community,” says Dr. Le, “and each one of our PAs is bilingual, which helps us serve our special population.”
The American Academy of PAs/Physician Assistant Education Association Preceptor of the Year Award honors preceptors who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in the clinical education of PA students as a mentor and instructor.
Along with providing care to a population in need, Dr. Le and Dr. Som’s clinic also provides a unique opportunity for PA students to gain experience serving a diverse group of patients. They have been precepting PA students for the last ten years, and accept at least three or four students during each rotation period.
While precepting both medical and PA students, Dr. Le and Dr. Som employ their “see one, do one, teach one” philosophy by encouraging students to perform as many procedures as possible – including pelvic exams, PAP smears, diabetic foot callus and nail trims, injections, and more. Throughout their time as preceptors, they have created rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, and internal medicine. One of the most rewarding parts of their work, Dr. Le says, is “educating and mentoring young providers in PA school, and seeing each individual develop confidence in their abilities as they serve in medicine.”
As further commitment to PA education, both Dr. Le and Dr. Som currently hold positions as adjunct faculty members at both Northern Arizona University and Midwestern University. And beyond precepting, both Dr. Le and Dr. Som say that PAs are a vital part of AMC, and allow them to better serve their patients.
“PAs are wonderful providers. Their intense training and compassion for patients make them an asset to our practice,” says Dr. Som. “We are about to launch our third clinic, and PAs have been and will continue to be vital to our medical team.”
Dr. Le and Dr. Som cite the people they serve as one of the best parts of their profession. Dr. Som loves spending time with people and is energized by them, and Dr. Le is grateful to have served and met so many people throughout his medical career. So it’s fitting that they make giving back part of their lives. Each year, they hold their Christmas for Children Around the World event, providing food, games, and holiday activities for over 800 children in the community – especially from families with fewer resources. They organize toy drives and provide items like backpacks, school supplies, bicycles, and toys to children in the underserved communities of Phoenix.
The PA students that Dr. Le and Dr. Som have precepted absorb this passion for service – and many go on to work with them at AMC, where they help to carry out Dr. Le and Dr. Som’s commitment to their community.