Group Medical Visits: An innovative solution for chronic pain management in a rural context

Facilitator Lesson Plan

This team-based, active-learning event features Jaclyn Thatcher, RN, DNP/FNP-S from Washington State University and Jacob Thatcher, OMS IV, at Pacific Northwest University. Group Medical Visits (GMVs) have the potential to transform chronic pain management in rural primary care and the delivery of medical care in the United States. Research shows GMVs, or Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs), are an innovative solution to bring patients with common needs together to improve understanding, treatment, well-being, and quality of life. This presentation will explain GMV chronic pain management intervention techniques and conclusions from a rural primary practice setting in Idaho. GMV rural considerations will include: recruitment, facilitation, retention, and patient experiences.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities for treating opioid misuse and chronic pain in rural primary care settings.
  • Define group medical visits, their process, and unique considerations in the rural setting.
  • Initiate planning for group medical visits in their setting.


Before your ALP Session
  1. Recruit your teams. Ideally, 4 teams of 3-5 participants.
  2. Schedule a room that can accommodate all your participants and AV to play the presentation.
  3. Distribute the Pre-Session link
  4. Download the Presentation Slide Deck.
  5. Review the Slide Deck. Be sure to look at the presenter notes.
During your ALP Session
  1. Arrange your participants into teams within the room.
  2. Facilitate your ALP session by following the prompts in the presenter notes of the Slide Deck.
  3. Facilitate general discussion with the full group. Go over any lingering thoughts.
  4. Evaluate the ALP materials on your experience.
Click to download the presentation slide deck

You will be asked to provide your name, email, and organization prior to accessing the download.

This product was supported by the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement #UH1HP29966. The information, conclusions and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and no endorsement by BHW, HRSA, or HHS is intended or should be inferred.