The article describes the "collaborative" model of learning, which goes beyond traditional didactic learning sessions and encourages participants to learn by doing and to share best practices with one another.
"Some examples of communities of practice in family medicine include clubs, committees, associations, academies, study groups, coalitions, e-mail discussion lists, medical staffs of local hospitals and community-oriented primary care groups. Communities of practice can exist in many different forms and professions, but all communities of practice share three key dimensions – a domain of knowledge, a community and a shared practice:
Domain of knowledge. In a community of practice specific to family medicine, the common domain of knowledge among all of its members may be the specialty of family medicine, a focus on specific populations, performance of specific procedures or a particular need or interest, such as becoming more competitive with other specialties or physicians.
Community. People in a community of practice share a voluntary commitment to relationship building.
Shared practice. In a shared practice, members develop and share knowledge and build expertise by compiling resources, tools and strategies that support future learning for all involved.
Communities of practice organize around one or more of the following functions: peer-to-peer problem-solving, sharing best practices, updating and sharing knowledge for daily practice and generating new ideas and innovations.2