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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Recommended Reading: May 19-25

This week’s Recommended Reading features the latest on Choosing Wisely®, public opinion on health care costs and other efforts to make wise use of health care resources: Inspired by the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign, pharmacist Scott Gavura created a list of  “Five Things Pharmacists and Patients should Question,” which he says are “pharmacy-based, widely [...]

Choosing Wisely: The Journey Begins

Choosing Wisely® is fundamentally focused on creating awareness of the issue of overuse. What was written about the campaign in traditional and social media outlets inspired thoughtful conversations about unnecessary health care. Physicians, patients, purchasers and health plans all applauded the courage and initiative shown by the nine specialty societies in identifying the five tests [...]

Recommended Reading: May 12-18

What are current health care cost trends and what can we do to bend the cost curve? Find out in this week’s Recommended Reading: The 2012 Milliman Medical Index, an annual report on health care costs, reveals that annual health care costs for a family of four covered by a preferred provider organization are $20,728. [...]

The Train Has Left the Station: But Who is On the Train?

I recently attended the Midwest Business Coalition on Healthcare’s (MBCH) Annual Meeting about the Choosing Wisely® campaign. MBCH is a member of the consumer coalition that will disseminate Consumer Reports’ patient-friendly translations of the 45 recommendations of tests and procedures that physicians and patients should question. At the meeting, a high-level physician executive of one [...]

Recommended Reading: May 4-11

For this week’s Recommended Reading, check out several articles on stewardship of resources, including its role in organizational professionalism: In “From an Ethics of Rationing to an Ethics of Waste Avoidance,” Howard Brody argues for a stepwise strategy to eliminate unnecessary care given the limitations of comparative-effectiveness research, saying, “it is better first to eliminate [...]

The Testing Glut

This post originally appeared in the L.A. Times. In case you missed it, a recommendation came out last month that physicians cut back on using 45 common tests and treatments. In addition, patients were advised to question doctors who recommend such things as antibiotics for mild sinusitis, CT scans for an uncomplicated headache or a [...]

Recommended Reading: April 28-May 4

For this week’s Recommended Reading, check out more coverage of Choosing Wisely® and other articles on overuse: Brad Flansbaum asks whether we are “Choosing Wisely or Vicely” on the Hospitalist Leader blog. The Wall Street Journal calls Choosing Wisely “Care That’s Just Right” American Cancer Society Medical Director Otis Brawley delivered a speech at a [...]

Random Acts of Medical Professionalism

I have been mulling over the concept of recognizing random acts of professionalism for years – honest! I cannot believe that lawyers from the Washington State Bar Association beat me to it. “Professionalism may not be sufficient to drive the profound and far-reaching changes needed in the U.S. health care system, but without it, the [...]

All We Are Saying Is… Give Professionalism A Chance

As ABIM and ABIM Foundation President and CEO Chris Cassel pointed out in her recent post, the Choosing Wisely® campaign is medical professionalism in action. But this is not professionalism where protectionism is being professed. Rather, the profession has taken the bold and brave step of not only identifying the tests with little value but [...]