Unpacking the black box: shared medical appointments and patient engagement

Wheeler Institute for Business and Development PhD Award 2020

The Wheeler Institute recognises Nazli Sönmez’s research.

Treating patients with chronic disease is the leading cause of congestion in health systems in both developing and developed nations and a primary driver of rising healthcare costs. Most deaths worldwide are due to chronic disease. Although chronic diseases are very common around the globe, the poorest populations exhibit the highest risk of tobacco use, alcohol use and obesity, which leads to a higher burden of chronic diseases over the long term. Poverty also causes greater comorbidity and decreased access to sufficient medical care. 

Using data from a randomised controlled trial with 1,000 patients at the Aravind Eye Hospital in India, this research examines the impact on levels of patient engagement of shared medical appointments (SMAs), in which patients with similar chronic conditions meet with a doctor simultaneously and each receives one-on-one care. This research aims to show how, relative to traditional one-on-one care models, SMAs affect engagement levels; both during the appointment and after.  

The potential impact  

A new way of healthcare delivery, SMAs provide an efficient way of treating patients with chronic conditions, since the long-lasting and shared nature of such conditions yields opportunities for patients to learn from each other’s experiences and realisations. The time-savings provided by SMAs, which yield increased capacity in healthcare, are also considerable. Moreover, a growing body of research suggests that SMAs can yield superior medical outcomes for a wide variety of chronic conditions. 

“A growing body of research suggests that shared medical appointments can yield superior medical outcomes for a wide variety of chronic conditions.” 

Nazli Sönmez, PhD student, Management Science and Operations, graduating class 2021 at London Business School 

Other recognitionsupdated on 11 Jan 2021

Nazli has also been selected as one of the five finalists for the 2020 MSOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) Student Paper Competition with her paper “Can Shared Service Delivery Increase Customer Engagement? A Study of Shared Medical Appointments”, co-authored with Kamalini Ramdas and Ryan Buell.

Additionally, the LBS PhD Committee has awarded this year’s Sir James Ball PhD Award to Nazli. The award is given to one student per year across all PhD students at LBS.


About Nazli Sönmez
PhD student, Management Science and Operations 
Supervisor: Kamalini Ramdas, Professor of Management Science and Operations  
Academic focus: Nazli’s research interests are in healthcare operations and green supply-chain management.  

About the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development PhD Award 

The Wheeler Institute is committed to supporting the development of early career researchers.  The Wheeler Institute PhD Award is a prestigious recognition of cutting-edge research that highlights the merit of the individual PhD student’s academic focus. The award is open to all current PhD students at London Business School whose research is aligned to the Institute’s objectives. Find out more

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