Pusic, M.V., Santen, S.A., Dekhtyar, M., Poncelet, A.N., Roberts, N.K., Wilson-Delfosse, A.L. & Cutrer, W.B.
It is critical for health professionals to continue to learn and this must be supported by health professions education (HPE). Adaptive expert clinicians are not only expert in their work but have the additional capacity to learn and improve in their practices. The authors review a selective aspect of learning to become an adaptive expert: the capacity to optimally balance routine approaches that maximize efficiency with innovative ones where energy and resources are used to customize actions for novel or difficult situations. Optimal transfer of learning, and hence the design of instruction, differs depending on whether the goal is efficient or innovative practice. However, the task is necessarily further complicated when the aspiration is an adaptive expert practitioner who can fluidly balance innovation with efficiency as the situation requires. Using HPE examples at both the individual and organizational level, the authors explore the instructional implications of learning to shift from efficient to innovative expert functioning, and back. They argue that the efficiency-innovation tension is likely to endure deep into the future and therefore warrants important consideration in HPE.