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What Is Choosing Wisely?

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation in partnership with Consumer Reports that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.  

National health organizations representing medical specialists worked with ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports by asking their providers to identify tests or procedures commonly used in their field whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. The resulting lists of “Things Providers and Patients Should Question” are intended to spark discussion about the need for many frequently ordered tests or treatments.

Each list provides information on when tests and procedures may be appropriate, as well as the methodology used in its creation. These lists are categorized into two categories: 

clinician lists

patient lists

These lists include over 500 topics which discuss tests, procedures and treatments which are unproven or unnecessary; and appropriate diagnosing, managing and treatment. Topics range from the common cold and infections, such as urinary tract infections or sinus issues, to allergies, hives, back pain, asthma, HIV, diabetes, and cancer.

Special note: 

Choosing Wisely recommendations should not be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. They are meant specifically to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. Providers and patients should use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan together.