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Research Letter
July 31, 2019

Assessment of Surgical Specialty Societies' Choosing Wisely Recommendations

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Surgery, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. Published online July 31, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2309

Overuse of unnecessary medical tests, treatments, and procedures in the United States is a major public health problem that leads to patient harm and costs up to $200 billion annually.1 Choosing Wisely is an initiative from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation aiming to reduce the use of low-value practices using evidence-based recommendations. Its focus on value has gained backing from more than 70 consumer groups, and more than 80 specialty societies have participated in Choosing Wisely to date.2 Choosing Wisely has gained most attention for recommendations to avoid low-value imaging, such as routine magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate back pain.3,4 However, many major surgical specialties have participated in Choosing Wisely, providing an opportunity to recommend deimplementation of low-value surgical practices. Whether these societies’ recommendations have capitalized on that opportunity is largely unknown.5

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