The Choosing Wisely campaign1 has ignited an international discussion of what medical practices should be done less frequently or not at all. Sixty professional societies have created Top Five lists of ways to eliminate waste in medical care. Because this is the first broad discussion of unnecessary care to include so many professional societies, it is not surprising that some of the items chosen were “safe bets” so as not to upset particular constituencies. For example, eliminating preoperative stress testing before low-risk surgery appears on no less than 7 professional societies’ Top Five lists. However, Kerr et al2 found that preoperative stress testing was not in common use for this indication (0.7%-2.1%) even before the launch of Choosing Wisely. With the growing clout of the Choosing Wisely campaign, now is the time for professional societies to be bolder in identifying common interventions that add little value to our medical care.
Redberg RF. Time for Professional Societies to Be Bold and Wise. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):647. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7883