The Benefit of Continuing Professional Development for Continuing Pharmacy Education

American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (04/18) Vol. 82, No. 3, Wheeler, James S.; Chisholm-Burns, Marie

Today's pharmacy graduates are expected to engage in direct patient care roles through collaborative practice, perform comprehensive medication management, and provide preventive care services. However, the existing continuing education (CE) system may need to be reconstructed to meet the needs of today's practitioners. Learning activities that are interactive, use multiple delivery methods, involve multiple exposures, and focus on outcomes considered important by the learner lead to more positive outcomes. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) classifies accredited continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities as one of three types: knowledge-, application-, or practice-based. One model that has been proposed to help learners in achieving goals through education is the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) approach. According to the ACPE, CPD is an ongoing, self-directed, structured, outcomes-focused learning cycle focused on maintaining and improving performance of professional practice. CPD enhances CE in a broader approach, ensuring pharmacist competence and performance and patient health outcomes. CPD exists as a cyclical learning process in which the learner reflects, plans, learns, evaluates, and applies. Simulation will likely play a larger role in CPD, particularly if a large number of practicing pharmacists must retool their skill set to assume direct patient care roles. "A CPD approach that includes CPE will facilitate outcomes-based positive change," the authors conclude. "Colleges and schools of pharmacy are poised to lead the shift toward self-directed lifelong learning."

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