Pharmacists are facing rapid changes and increasing complexity in the workplace. The astounding rate of both the evolution and the development of knowledge in pharmacy practice requires that we develop continuing professional development (CPD) to foster and support innovation, creativity, and flexibility, alongside procedural expertise. Adaptive expertise provides a conceptual framework for developing experts who can both perform professional tasks efficiently as well as creatively handle new and difficult-to-anticipate problems. This article approaches knowledge production in daily pharmacy practice and CPD through a cognitive psychology lens, and highlights three educational approaches to support the development of adaptive expertise in the workplace: (1) explaining not just what to do, but why you are doing it, (2) allowing and encouraging struggle, and (3) asking “what if” questions to encourage meaningful variation and reveal underlying core concepts. These three evidence-based strategies will cultivate long-term learning and will support pharmacists as we move into more complicated and ambiguous roles. Pharmacy CPD can be transformed to support the development of both procedural and conceptual knowledge in a local environment to support learning and innovation.
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