Women's Primary Care
Women's Medicine Collaborative

Shared Medical Appointments Frequently Asked Questions

What is a shared medical appointment?  

A shared medical appointment is a 90-minute medical visit with a physician or nurse practitioner, as necessary, in the company of other patients. Private discussions and examinations are available as necessary.

Women meeting at a shared medical appointment

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For more information, speak with your primary care physician at the Women's Medicine Collaborative or call us at 401-793-7837.

What are the advantages of a shared medical appointment?  

Patients have more time with the provider (90 minutes), no waiting room time, a multidisciplinary care team, and the help and support of other patients. Patients leave with more information and answers to questions they might not have thought to ask.

The shared medical appointment helps improve appointment availability, allows more time for patient education, and is relaxed and enjoyable.

"I was motivated in a group setting to stick to my goals.”  

Is the shared medical appointment a seminar or health education class?  

No. Many people think the shared medical appointment is a seminar because of the wealth of information they obtain and the length of time scheduled. The shared medical appointment is not a seminar, health education class, support group, behavioral medicine program or psychiatry group. Rather, it is an enhanced office visit with the health care provider. The same medical care, lab result review, medication review and time for questions that you would experience in a traditional office visit takes place here.

Once I try a shared medical appointment, must I always visit my health care provider in a shared medical appointment?  

No. The shared medical appointment is an additional health care choice available to you.  Most patients who try a shared medical appointment want to return, but you always have the option of an individual appointment with your provider.

What about privacy?  

All participants in the shared medical appointment sign a privacy and confidentiality agreement. Some patients may feel hesitant to share their questions or speak in the group at first, but then they begin to enjoy the social interaction and share information that is helpful to each other. 

“Hearing other patients' stories makes me feel like I'm not alone. I feel supported and encouraged.” 

Will my insurance pay for a shared medical appointment?  

The shared medical appointment is the same as a regular office visit. There is no extra charge for the extra time. It is billed as a typical office visit and your usual co-pay will apply.

Can I get my medications in a shared medical appointment?  

You can do everything at a shared medical appointment that you would at a regular medical visit. You will leave with prescriptions, referrals, test results and a plan for ways to improve your health.

Can I bring a family member or friend with me?  

Yes.  We welcome a family member or support person to attend the shared medical appointment with you. However, the focus will be on your medical care and not theirs. Guests are also asked to sign a confidentiality statement.

How do I schedule a shared medical appointment?  

For more information call Gwen LaRiviere at 401-793-7817 or speak with your primary care physician at the Women's Medicine Collaborative.