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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Are Physicians Aware of the Choosing Wisely® Campaign and Recommendations?

For Choosing Wisely to make a meaningful impact in encouraging physician and patient conversations about reducing unnecessary care, the leadership and efforts of the specialty societies partnering in the campaign will be the key factor in achieving success. We continue to get examples from many of the specialty societies of how they are spreading the word about the campaign and I recently had the opportunity to see the efforts of one specialty society firsthand.

I was invited to present at the opening session of the 17th Annual Scientific Session of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) on September 7, 2012. Also presenting during the session was ASNC President Dr. John Mahmarian, who provided the President’s Address, and James Arrighi, MD, who provided the President-Elect’s Address. Both of their addresses were remarkable in the fact they emphasized the need for ASNC to partner with other organizations—including certifying boards, payers, purchasers, the government and consumer/patient advocacy groups—in order to achieve the society’s goal of improving the quality and education of nuclear cardiologists.

As I listened to Drs. Mahmarian and Arrighi speak, I reflected on the fact that I was asked to join this prestigious leadership panel. I’m not a physician and I have no formal position with ASNC. It became clear that ASNC believed they had an important role in sharing the lessons of the Choosing Wisely campaign. When it was my turn to take the lectern, I spoke about the four components of the campaign I usually touch on when speaking about Choosing Wisely:

  • the importance of the leadership and courage of the specialty societies;
  • the new language and framing of Choosing Wisely;
  • the specific recommendations and actions as a starting point for conversations between patients and physicians; and,
  • the respectful relationships between all involved in the campaign, including the specialty societies, Consumer Reports and their partners, and the ABIM Foundation.

At one point during my talk, I asked the audience whether they have heard about the Choosing Wisely campaign, and about half the hands went up. I then asked how many knew of ASNC’s five recommendations, and about half kept their hands raised. I thought it was a promising sign that so many in the audience were aware of their societies’ recommendations given the short time since they were announced.

Dr. Mahmarian underscores ASNC’s commitment on the ASNC’s website, “Delivering high-quality, patient-centered care is the obligation of every medical professional. The Choosing Wisely campaign represents a unified effort in the medical community to promote best practices and good stewardship of health care resources by experts in the field.  ASNC whole-heartedly supports this effort and is proud to be a part of this important initiative.” In just five short months, ASNC has embraced the Choosing Wisely campaign and committed to educating their members on their recommendations. I’ve seen the same type of commitment from the other societies and applaud them on their efforts. I will share more about this important work in future posts.

Please share your story with us on The Medical Professionalism Blog – how are you spreading the word about Choosing Wisely? How are you changing the way you practice medicine? Or if you’re a patient, is it changing the conversations you have with your physician?

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