Virtual Preceptorship, Rare Disease


A medical affairs team planned to conduct a preceptorship – a time-limited, education-focused model for teaching and learning that uses clinical staff as role models – with the following goals:

  1. Provide education to up-and-coming HCPs around the pathology, diagnosis, and management of a rare blood disorder
  2. Inform participants about the development of new treatments and guidelines


Typically, the preceptorship would take place in-person over the course of two day-long meetings. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the team decided to conduct the meetings virtually and worked with the Within3 client success organization to convert the traditional face-to-face meeting to virtual interaction. Objectives for the virtual session included:

  1. Retain an engaging and hands-on learning atmosphere, even if not in-person
  2. Design agenda and content to accommodate multiple time zones and preceptees’ schedules to ensure participation as well as the quality and quantity of discussion topics
  3. Avoid “one-way” content delivery to ensure the typical characteristics of a preceptorship

The format of the meeting included three live webcasts with presentation and discussion components, interspersed with asynchronous sessions on the Within3 virtual engagement platform to engage with the preceptees. Recordings of the webcast presentations were also made available on the platform for preceptees to access anytime. In the asynchronous sessions, questions were released on a staggered schedule to allow the participants time to focus on each topic.

“We were able to do something virtual that was usually face-to-face. The expectations for the preceptorship were met, even though we didn’t meet in person.”


The preceptees and instructors were able to connect to the meetings from their homes or offices, with no need for travel during the pandemic. The Within3 platform’s 24/7 access eliminated geographic and timezone hurdles for preceptees in 11 countries around the world, and the medical affairs team was able to include more participants than in a face-to-face meeting due to the virtual setting. The structure of real-time presentations combined with over-time discussions resulted in a high level of participation and engagement across both environments.

“The virtual format led to the same effect as an in-person meeting – allowing time for informal exchanges, with excellent content that maximized the preceptees’ time without travel.”

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