Great editorial on the changing medical times… In a recent Family Medicine journal one physician poetically writes about that contemporary medical practice is a continuous process of updating medical practices and frank change. “Choosing Wisely” is a new practice which identifies wasteful and unnecessary medical care (including tests, treatments and procedures).
Oftentimes, patients and physicians alike would like to continue doing the same testing as was done before. (For example, the antiquated annual pap smear.) Change is inevitable. Every test we order or treatment/procedure we perform carries the possibility of harm as well as the opportunity for benefit. Often the elimination of testing is due to new information, not to cutting medical costs. The goal is to decrease wasteful, unnecessary medical care that may harm without the possibility of benefit.
For more information on Choosing Wisely.. http://www.choosingwisely.org