Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely

Physicians play a critical role in initiating conversations about appropriate care with patients and other clinicians. Choosing Wisely® is about doing the right thing for patients and avoiding care that could harm them.

A national initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Choosing Wisely has enlisted more than 60 medical specialty societies to create lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" which provide specific evidence-based recommendations for conversations on the risks and benefits of various medical tests.

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

To learn more about the Choosing Wisely initiative, visit the national Choosing Wisely website.

Choosing Wisely Tools & Resources

For physicians or other health care leaders struggling with how to integrate Choosing Wisely's evidence-based best practices into their practices or organizations, the Choosing Wisely Action Manual takes a step-by-step approach to making system-level changes.

There resources were developed in partnership with the Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) under a Choosing Wisely grant to reduce antibiotics for viral infections among adults, diagnostic testing for low back pain, and screening for Vitamin D deficiencies.

Read more about the Michigan Choosing Wisely grant here >>

VIDEO: Choosing Wisely PSA

"5 Questions" resources for your exam or waiting room

The "5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before You Get Any Test, Treatment or Procedure" single-page flyer is a simple and effective way to encourage shared decision making. Post one in your exam room, or have them available in your waiting room. Any one of these five questions can help start the conversation for both the patient and physician to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time:

  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?

Download the 5 Questions poster.

Watch and Share the 5 Questions PSA video:
      English with subtitles
      Spanish with subtitles


Choosing Wisely and Consumer Reports provide a number of resources designed to help patients understand when adults and children need antibiotics -- and when they don't.

Poster: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Take Antibiotics

Brochure: 5 Questions to Consider Before Antibiotics

Consumer Reports Antibiotics e-hub

Antibiotics for a sore throat, cough, or runny nose

Treating Sinus Problems

Watch and Share the Antibiotics PSA video:
      English with subtitles
      Spanish with subtitles

Vitamin D Tests

Vitamin D tests: When you need them -- and when they don't.

Imaging for Low Back Pain

Choosing Wisely and Consumer Reports provide a number of resources designed to help patients understand when they need imaging for lower back pain or other common occupational therapies.

Test and Treatments You May Not Need

Imaging Tests for Lower-Back Pain

VIDEO: Imaging for Lower Back Pain
VIDEO: High Value Care: Imaging Tests

Opioid Use

New Choosing Wisely Patient-Facing Materials designed to help your patients understand the risks of opioid use for most long-term pain:

PDF: Low literacy version
PDF: Plain language version

Web-based education for physicians on Choosing Wisely

These easy-to-view webinars are available on-demand. At your leisure, select from the modules below, then watch and learn. These webinars are free, and earn no CME credits.

Webinars in this series:

  • Choosing Wisely Part 1: Stewards of our Health Care Resources
    Presenter: Kevin Taylor, MD, MS
    Time: 36 minutes
    Watch Part 1 Now
  • Choosing Wisely Part 2: Change Strategies to Implement Choosing Wisely
    Presenter: Kevin Taylor, MD, MS
    Time: 30 minutes
    Watch Part 2 Now

Presenter Bio:

Kevin Taylor, MD, MS: Doctor Taylor is a general internist and site medical director for Integrated Healthcare Associates (IHA) in Ann Arbor. He is an associate medical director for the Michigan Primary Care Transformation (MiPCT) demonstration project and serves as Chair for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Healthcare Resource Stewardship Council (HRSC)


Interactive Modules:

Interactive instructional modules, based on specialty society recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign, are now available.

By completing the modules, physicians will learn strategies to build trust and address patient attitudes and beliefs.

New modules are available from:

  • American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Radiology
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Access the modules here

Choosing Wisely participating society lists

Click the society below to see their specific list of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question".

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Academy of Dermatology
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Blood Banks
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The Endocrine Society
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
American College of Cardiology
American College of Chest Physicians and American Thoracic Society
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Medical Toxicology and The American Academy oc Clinical Toxicology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
American College of Physicians
American College of Radiology
American College of Rheumatology
American College of Rheumatology - Pediatric Rheumatology
American College of Surgeons
American Gastroenterological Association
American Geriatrics Society
American Headache Society
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
American Psychiatric Association
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Radiation Oncology
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Echocardiography
American Society of Gynecologic Oncology
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
American Urological Association
Commission on Cancer
Critical Care Societies Collaborative
Heart Rhythm Society
North American Spine Society
Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Society for Vascular Medicine
Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Society of Hospital Medicine - Adult Hospital Medicine
Society of Hospital Medicine - Pediatric Hospital Medicine