Preceptor Spotlight: Linda Guo

Linda Quan Guo, PharmD, APh, a clinical pharmacist practitioner at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLA), is a recipient of the 2023 Preceptor of the Year Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). A 2012 graduate of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Guo moved to Los Angeles after pharmacy school for a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at VAGLA and concomitant Teaching Certificate Program at the USC Mann School. Today, she serves as a pharmacy education program manager, pharmacy practice experiences coordinator and clinical pharmacist at VAGLA, specializing in gender-affirming care.

Here, she explains why she volunteers as a preceptor to mentor USC Mann School students and introduce them to “real world” experiences.

Why did you choose to become a preceptor for USC Mann students?

When I was a student, I had amazing preceptors who helped shape me into who I am as a clinician today. It made me realize, I wanted to do that for someone else as a pharmacist. During my teaching certificate program at the USC Mann School, I had many opportunities to precept, lecture, and model/coach students which affirm my commitment to teaching future generations throughout my career.

How do preceptors play a vital role in preparing students for future jobs in the healthcare industry?

Preceptors play a vital role in preparing students for real-world application of pharmacy practice. We have the opportunity to impact their experiences and help shape them into exceptional clinicians and healthcare professionals. I say healthcare professionals because precepting is more than just application of clinical topics; it includes professionalism, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships. The latter is just as important as clinical knowledge and preceptors play an essential role in it. To this day, I still have great admiration for the preceptors who laid the foundation for my career and professional development.  

What do you enjoy most about being a preceptor?

If I had to sum up what I enjoy the most, it would be seeing the student’s “ah-ha” moment and the pride stretched across their face. Whether it’s a lightbulb moment in regards to understanding a difficult pharmacological concept or figuring out what career path they want to set forth, it is truly a rewarding experience.

What advice do you have for current PharmD students?

Be comfortable with asking for help and knowing your limitations. You’ll continue to grow if you know where you are starting from.

Why should other pharmacists consider being a preceptor for the school?

Teaching and contributing to the future generation of our colleagues is worthwhile in itself; additionally, I have grown as a professional through teaching. Who I was as a clinician when I graduated pharmacy school is completely different than who I am today; I attribute a lot of that to opportunities I’ve had precepting trainees.

Learn more about PharmD professional experience programs at USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Pharmacists: Interested in becoming a preceptor? Email