Practices in Focus

Celebrating Excellence: Sabrina Allam Named AAPM 2023 Practice Manager of the Year


We are thrilled to feature an exclusive Q&A with Sabrina Allam, the recipient of the prestigious AAPM 2023 Practice Manager of the Year award, announced in October 2023. This accolade recognises Sabrina’s exceptional contributions to practice management across multiple medical centres. Join us as we gain insights into her inspiring journey and the keys to her success.


Q: Can you share insights into your background and journey that led you to become the Practice Manager across a range of medical centres?


Sabrina: My journey began when I was 18, starting as a medical receptionist. At that time, we had just one clinic. I was finishing my Bachelor of Arts in pathways for teaching and was on track to become a teacher. In 2015, I was given the opportunity to manage a new clinic we were opening, which marked the start of my management career. Despite initially pursuing a master’s degree in teaching, I decided to focus on practice management full-time.


I tried to learn everything from the beginning to end of managing a medical centre, using all the resources I could. I remember going home, going to Officeworks, and printing out the standards for general practice, reading them every night, and making notes to better understand what needed to be done. I reached out to PHNs and downloaded every resource online I could find. Each local PHN had something different to offer, and that’s what I was doing at that time – just trying to learn as much as possible.


Eventually opening seven clinics between 2015 to 2019, the journey was filled with challenges, however it was incredibly rewarding to see the clinics grow and succeed.


Q: As a new medical receptionist who has just attended an event or is just starting in the role, what tips would you give to encourage someone to consider becoming a practice manager?


Absolutely. Coming into the role can indeed seem a bit overwhelming. It’s natural to feel a bit scared or to think it’s too much or that you might not be capable. However, being a receptionist is a significant part of the role. It’s important to utilise the resources available, as there is a lot of support.


You might feel alone because you’re the only manager, but there are networking meetings and tons of resources online. It’s a matter of utilising them, and getting people to come on-site to help you out. Going through accreditation is huge. I always encourage our staff to take on this role because it is rewarding.


“I remember in 2015, I saw the ability to win this award and I’ve had my eye on it since then. I’m like, I want to get this award one day”


Q: Winning the 2023 Practice Manager of the Year award is a significant achievement. What does this recognition mean to you personally and professionally?


This recognition is hugely significant for me. I’ve put my heart and soul into this role from the beginning, making many sacrifices along the way. This recognition validates all the hard work and dedication over the years. Personally, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the clinics thriving, the staff growing, and overcoming various challenges.


Professionally, it motivates me to keep moving forward. We have many exciting projects on the horizon, and this award keeps me focused on those goals. It’s a fantastic reminder to keep an eye on the prize and continue striving for excellence.


Q: For Practice Managers aspiring to excel in their roles, what advice or words of encouragement would you offer based on your own experience?


Building strong relationships with your team is crucial. Your team’s support and cooperation are vital for the smooth running of a clinic. Be adaptable to change and ready to embrace new policies, procedures, and technologies. Also, utilise available resources and seek support when needed. Networking and continuous learning are key to overcoming challenges and achieving success.


Q: With the $5000 travel voucher prize, have you made any decisions on how or where you plan to use it? Any exciting destinations or experiences on the horizon?


This travel voucher is a significant opportunity for me, aligning perfectly with my goals for travel and adventure. I have a social media following of around 140,000 people, and I always encourage them to get out, adventure, and hike.


I have a lot of trips planned, with Nepal being a top priority. I’m hoping to do a 10-day trek there soon. My travel list is extensive, but destinations like Norway, Scotland, and Iceland are on it. This voucher will help me pursue these adventures and inspire others to do the same. You can follow my journeys on Instagram at @Sabrina Allam_.


Q: How extensive has your accreditation process been, and over what period have you been actively involved in it?


I’ve been involved in every accreditation process since the beginning, managing around 16 or 17 accreditations to date. Post-COVID, many accreditations came together, making the process more intense. I involve all staff members, from casual to full-time, leveraging their strengths to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive accreditation process.


Q: In your experience, which AGPAL resources have proven to be the most beneficial to you and your practice, contributing to your success as a Practice Manager?


Honestly, we’ve utilised just about every AGPAL resource available. The downloadable resources, policies, and procedures have been foundational at every site we manage. We’ve built on those resources extensively. For example, whenever new additions or updates come out like the recently updated 5th Edition, we immediately integrate them into our practices.


It’s incredible to have these resources at our fingertips – we use them for everything.


Q: In your role as a Practice Manager, what strategies or initiatives have you implemented to enhance patient satisfaction and overall experience across your medical centres?


Enhancing patient satisfaction starts with a well-trained and supported team. I’ve developed an internal online A-to-Z knowledge hub for staff, ensuring they have access to all necessary information and procedures. Continuous staff training and creating a supportive work environment is also essential. For instance, I’ve encouraged staff to pursue certifications in leadership, management, and mental health to boost their skills and motivation.


Q: Balancing the diverse responsibilities of a Practice Manager can be challenging. How do you prioritise tasks and maintain effective communication within your team to ensure smooth operations and quality patient care?


Juggling multiple responsibilities often makes you feel like you’re always catching up. To manage this, I use an app called OmniFocus. I add tasks to an inbox during calls and later categorise them by clinic, importance, and urgency. At the start of the week, I organise these tasks and continually check my inbox. This system helps me prioritise, delegate, and stay on top of everything, ensuring smooth operations and quality patient care.



Sabrina’s journey and achievements exemplify the dedication and resilience required in practice management. Her story is a source of inspiration for all aspiring Practice Managers. Congratulations once again to Sabrina Allen, AAPM 2023 Practice Manager of the Year, for her outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to excellence.


Applications for the 2024 AAPM State and National Practice Manager of the Year Awards are now open! We recognise the exceptional contributions of practice managers to the healthcare industry and to celebrate your dedication, the 2024 AAPM National Practice Manager of the Year will receive a well-deserved $5,000 travel voucher. Nominate yourself or another deserving practice manager today: Apply Here. Applications close at 5pm on Friday, 14 June.