The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Articles in Press Review Article

How to Add Metacognition to Your Continuing Professional Development: Scoping Review and Recommendations

Mack, Heather G.; Spivey, Bruce; Filipe, Helena P.

Author Information

From the *University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; †Pacific Vision Foundation, San Francisco, CA; ‡Hospital of the Armed Forces-EMGFA, Lisbon, Portugal.

Reprints: Heather G. Mack, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3010 Australia. 


Participation in continuing professional development (CPD) is part of lifelong learning required by ophthalmologists. Metacognition is a new area of educational research. It is important because metacognitive skills are essential in medical education and likely to improve effectiveness of CPD activities. We systematically searched PubMed using the search terms ‘metacognition’ and ‘CPD’ or ‘continuing medical education (CME)’ and found only 5 articles. These articles were supplemented by a broad-based review of published literature including educational psychology, across the continuum of medical education. We summarize the techniques that may improve metacognition in CPD: awareness of and instruction in metacognition, awareness and mitigation of cognitive errors, appropriate needs analysis, and choosing appropriate activities. Metacognition and learning of new surgical techniques, the role of portfolios, and the role of the educator are described. The evidence is weak however, and it is usually extrapolated to CPD activities from other fields. Ophthalmologists may be able to improve their metacognitive skills in the CPD context, but the evidence supporting this is of low quality.

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