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July 18, 2012

Social Networks in Health Care: So Much to Learn

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire.

JAMA. 2012;308(3):294-296. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7476

Physicians largely work alone. When the examination room door closes, each physician accepts responsibility for the care of the patient in front of him or her. It is hard and important work. Traditional values (the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship), training (with emphasis on individual responsibility), practice (referral to a specific individual), and payment (fee-for-service) all reinforce this professional model and the notion that physicians influence health primarily through the individual patient-physician encounter.