The decision-making and learning roles of a professional social network: The case of a family physicians’ network

Meira Levy, Dikla Agur Cohen, Shahar Arnon, Inbar Levkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This research was aimed at studying the evolution and roles of the Israeli physicians' professional social network as perceived by the members of the network. Methodology: The research examined a case study of RAMBAM/KEHILA professional networks, applying both qualitative and quantitative methods for establishing a grounded theory. Findings: Physicians want to be part of their professional community and consider the network as a place where the “wisdom of the crowd” exists. They seek approval for their initial line of reasoning regarding their clinical cases but will consider other approaches if such are suggested by persons of professional repute or if answers are based on evidence-based medicine. The evolved network constitutes an a-political space which has gained the trust of the community and enables physicians of various ranks to share experiences and thoughts. Moreover, the network fosters learning opportunities and the network dynamics have impact on physicians' professional development. Discussion: This unique ten-year longitudinal research examined the evolution of a professional social network. The research findings have practical and social implications. Practically, the study shows the values of professional network as an instrument for clinicians' lifelong learning and professional development. Socially, the study presents the professional network social role in facilitating social interactions when the network participants are involved in determining its roles and gain trust by avoiding any political or commercial interference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104515
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Clinical decision-making
  • Evolution
  • Lifelong learning
  • Physicians
  • Social network (SN)
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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