Research in Progress (RIP): "Tacit Learning and Influence behind Practice Variation: Evidence from Physicians in Training"



David Chan, CHP/PCOR

Date and Time

May 20, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology and/or results are embargoed until publication


Studying physicians in training, I investigate how uncertainty and tacit knowledge may give rise to significant practice variation, via learning and influence in organizations. Consistent with tacit learning, and empirically exploiting a discontinuity in the formation of teams, I find that relative experience substantially increases the influence of a physician on variation. Learning sufficient to generate convergence exists in specialist-driven services but not in the generalist-driven service, a difference unexplained by formal diagnostic codes. Convergence in specialist services occurs with both general and specific experience. In contrast to learning and influence, rich physician characteristics correlated with preferences and ability determine little if any variation.