As sources of medical information grow online, Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs) have evolved into a potential tool that allows General Practitioners (GPs) to interact through the sharing of their experience and knowledge. However, literature reports that GPs are reluctant to participate in VCoPs especially for their continuing medical education (CME). Currently, no study has explored the design and structural aspects of VCoPs that may lead to enhancing GPs' participation in such online communities. Hence, this paper explores how GPs envisage the use of a VCoP for their CME and how to enhance their participation by conducting an exploratory qualitative study of two focus groups with 10 GPs in each group, accompanied by a specialist and a nurse. Our empirical findings identified two key contributions: i) seven themes that need to be incorporated in the VCoP to enable and support GP's CME through the use of a VCoP; ii) three recommendations to take into consideration for researchers when evaluating VCoPs for CME.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 email@example.com
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 firstname.lastname@example.org