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"Choosing Wisely" Campaign Releases New Lists of Meds, Procedures to Question


"Choosing Wisely" initiative seeks to stem overuse of routine testing, treatment.

Seventeen medical societies recently released lists of nearly 90 frequently ordered but often unnecessary tests and procedures, as part of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s (ABIM) “Choosing Wisely” campaign.

The lists, developed by a growing number of professional societies, present “Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in a concerted effort to encourage discussion between patient and clinician about medical tests and procedures that may be appropriate to forgo. The campaign now includes lists from 35 specialty societies, including the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). 

The ACP’s No. 1 recommendation, out of 5 things to question, was the need for  screening exercise electrocardiogram testing in asymptomatic, low-risk patients.

The AAFP released a list of 10 tests and procedures. The top item was to avoid imaging for low back pain within the first 6 weeks after symptoms appear, an item that also appeared in the ACP’s top five.

“Choosing Wisely” was launched in April 2012 with 9 medical specialties participating.  New to the initiative this year, among other groups, are: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the American Society of Echocardiography. 

For a complete list of participating professional societies and “Top Things…” lists, click here. 


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