Choosing Wisely

All About Choosing Wisely

NOTE: The Texas Medical Association's formal Choosing Wisely campaign concluded at the end of March 2015. The national Choosing Wisely initiative is still very much alive and well though. TMA continues to offer members this Choosing Wisely Resource Center as well as five continuing medical education webinars on Choosing Wisely in the TMA Education Center.

Choosing Wisely® aims to promote conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is: 

  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm
  • Truly necessary
In response to this challenge, national organizations representing medical specialists have been asked to “choose wisely” by identifying five tests or procedures commonly used in their field, whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. The resulting lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” will spark discussion about the need—or lack thereof — for many frequently ordered tests or treatments. 


This concept was originally conceived and piloted by the National Physicians Alliance, which, through an ABIM Foundation Putting the Charter into Practice grant, created a set of three lists of specific steps physicians in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics could take in their practices to promote the more effective use of health care resources. These lists were first published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Recognizing that patients need better information about what care they truly need to have these conversations with their physicians, Consumer Reports is developing patient-friendly materials and is working with consumer groups to disseminate them widely.

Choosing Wisely recommendations should not be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Rather, they are meant to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. As each patient situation is unique, physicians and patients should use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan together.

The ABIM Foundation awarded Texas Medical Association and its philanthropic arm, the TMA Foundation, a grant to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign among Texas physicians. Support for the grant program comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For more information about the campaign read the Choosing Wisely One-Pager.

Last Updated On

May 05, 2016