In April of last year, I wrote about the first release of recommendations from the American Board on Internal Medicine Foundation in conjunction with nine medical societies as part of a campaign: Choosing Wisely. The campaign aims to draw attention to and call into question commonly ordered tests like chest x-rays before surgery, frequently performed procedures like colonoscopies, and frequently prescribed treatments like antibiotics for upper respiratory infections. The campaign is directed to clinicians and patients with both audiences asked to consider the evidence for not doing select tests and procedures in specific circumstances where the evidence supports not doing the test or procedure or treatment.
Fast forward 10 months. The ABIM Foundation has released 90 more recommendations in conjunction with medical specialty societies for physicians, other clinicians, and patients/consumers asking us to consider the evidence and to choose wisely. We should applaud the ABIM Foundation, the National Physician Alliance, Consumer Reports and the dozens of medical specialty societies that have assumed the mantle of leadership to bring this information to health care professionals and to consumers in clear, crisp, and concise statements.
Steven R. Peskin, MD, MBA, FACP, is associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.