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Promoting conversations between clinicians and patients

Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with a mission to help patients choose and/or ask for care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm and truly necessary.

The history of Choosing Wisely®

In 2010, Dr. Howard Brody asked medical specialty societies to identify five tests and treatments that were overused in their practices and were of no benefit to their patients. This list gained media attention, and in 2012 ABIM created the Choosing Wisely® campaign with the release of a Top 5 list from 9 specialty groups. The campaign launched to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations to reduce unnecessary testing and treatments and to use healthcare resources effectively.

Today, the goal of Choosing Wisely® is to continue promoting patient-centered healthcare. It is a shared decision-making process that relies on both the patient and providers to work together to decided what tests, treatments, and care plans to investigate and determine which to move forward on based on clinical evidence, if it’s truly necessary and if its free from harm.

How does Choosing Wisely® work?

Healthcare providers practice the SHARE approach to help explain the essential steps of shared decision making with their patients. The SHARE approach involves:

  • Step one: Seek patients’ participation
  • Step two: Help patient explore and compare treatment option
  • Step three: Assess the patients’ values and preferences
  • Step four: Reach a decision with the patient
  • Step five: Evaluate the patients’ decision”

Patients should be aware of five core questions, and discuss these topics with their healthcare provider before receiving any test, treatment, or procedure. These questions include:

  1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
  5. How much does it cost?

Additional resources

To learn more about Choosing Wisely®, please read our latest blog post.

The Choosing Wisely® initiative has many other resources for patients to download and use at their next doctor’s appointment to ensure the best care and to be a part of the decision-making process, including:

Choosing Wisely® campaign is meant to empower and engage patients in obtaining the most effective health care to achieve health equity for all communities. Health equity meaning that everyone can receive high quality healthcare regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.


Healthy is finding the right doctor.