Shared Medical Appointments

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs)

Advocating for SMAs as an innovative process in clinical practice

As chronic and lifestyle-related diseases continue to rise, traditional 1:1 consultations are proving to be an increasingly insufficient and inefficient means of managing the needs of our patients. Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) may serve part of the solution.

ASLM has been involved in pioneering SMAs in Australasia for some years, including conducting pilot trials, and advocating for the concept to be recognised within the current MBS reimbursement system. Currently, ASLM is training hundreds of practitioners and SMA facilitators in medical centres around the country through a number of Primary Health Networks.

Your donation will help us to continue to advocate for SMAs as an innovative process in clinical practice, and to conduct more research into patient outcomes and into the cost effectiveness of SMAs compared to standard consulting.

Defining SMAs

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs), or ‘Group Visits’, are “a series of consecutive individual medical consultations in a supportive group setting where all can listen, interact, and learn.”


As such, SMAs are both an individual consultation and an informal group education session, and

Increase clinical cost-efficiency

Use peer support for better outcomes

Mean not repeating yourself ad nauseum

Improve clinical teamwork

Increase patient/provider satisfaction

Make clinical practice more fun!

The current SMA Protocol was adapted from overseas models by Prof Garry Egger and A/Prof John Stevens, and has since developed into an efficient and effective form of patient consultation and management with a robust protocol, a number of local research studies, and an abundance of real world application.

Evidence for SMAs

Traditionally, medical consultations have been carried out in a 1:1 situation; an ‘expert’ (doctor) consulting with one patient. This has served us well, and still does with injuries and infectious diseases. But the rise in chronic and lifestyle-related diseases has dramatically altered the clinical landscape.

No longer is a short consultation with a doctor sufficient or necessarily appropriate to manage what can amount to complex, lifetime, metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory and other disorders. In the past, attempts have been made to address this by the development of education sessions (e.g. diabetes education), usually involving one health ‘expert’ and a patient group of say, 10-20 people. But the group education lacks medical input and the 1:1 consultation lacks an education component. Hence another model was still needed.

Watch an SMA in action

SMA training and professional development

Interested in learning more about SMAs?

Watch this introductory webinar designed to answer common questions regarding Shared Medical Appointments, including what they are, the existing research, and derivatives of the SMA concept including virtual SMAs.

Interested in conducting SMAs?

Register for this online workshop to learn how to conduct SMAs, whether as the doctor or the facilitator, and complete the assessment to receive an ASLM Certified SMA Facilitator certificate for CPD purposes.

Get involved

Help shape the future of health and add your voice to a growing movement.


Gain access to our online member portal, professional development pathways, clinical resources and exclusive member discounts.


Support us in continuing to provide valuable education, training, and resources to professionals and community improving the healthcare and wellbeing for all.

Stay informed

Connect with us for the latest Lifestyle Medicine research, news, events, professional development and opportunities. 

Subscribe me to the free newsletter
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.