Choosing Wisely

by Natasha Kasbekar

A few years ago, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) embarked on an initiative called “Choosing Wisely”. This campaign aimed to create a national effort amongst physicians to carefully examine and make recommendations that would help to decrease unnecessary testing and treatments. Not only do unnecessary tests or treatments add to healthcare spending, but they may potentially cause the patient more harm than good. For example, giving a child antibiotics for a viral upper respiratory infection (cold) has no benefit in treating the infection, and could expose a child to side effects or future antibiotic resistance. Various medical specialties have come up with their own lists that warrant consideration. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently released an updated list that is available here. The list was created through a process of expert review by AAP leadership. It is valuable for parents to be familiar with this information so that they can talk to their child’s doctor about why certain tests or treatments are recommended and why others are not.

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