The Choosing Wisely Campaign

Educating consumers about appropriate care

To distribute campaign information to consumers, please contact us.

About the Choosing Wisely campaign

Family doctors know that many patients get unneeded prescriptions. Obstetricians know that too many babies are delivered by C-section. Radiologists have seen a lot of pointless chest X-rays. Blood tests, EKGs, Pap tests and MRIs all are overused.

In fact, when doctors sit down with the medical evidence within their specialties, hundreds of tests and treatments turn out to be frequently unnecessary, duplicative or even harmful.

For the U.S. health system as a whole, it means 30 percent of medical spending is wasted.

For patients? It means their time, energy and money could have been focused on smarter, safer, and more effective care.

The Choosing Wisely campaign aims to help patients and doctors talk about what’s truly needed. The ABIM Foundation has joined with more than 70 medical specialty societies to develop evidence-based lists of tests and procedures that should be questioned.

And as a partner in that effort, Consumer Reports has created more than 120 free brochures for patients and their families, addressing the most common of these concerns. We also have free posters, videos, rack cards, and wallet cards that help people ask their healthcare providers the right questions.

To distribute this material, CR has engaged with more than 50 organizations across the country, who help share it with yet more patients and families.

Choosing Wisely campaign brochures

Consumer Reports creates consumer resources based on many of the Choosing Wisely topics. The titles below connect to our growing catalog of brochures.

Campaign videos

Consumer Reports has created about a dozen videos about the Choosing Wisely campaign and about its popular topics. We urge you to share them with anyone who could use this information.

Here are some examples:

5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor from Consumer Health Choices.

Imaging for Lower Back Pain from Consumer Health Choices.

Choosing Wisely: Public Service Announcement from Consumer Health Choices.

Physician partners

Organizations of physicians and other providers participating in Choosing Wisely® include:

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Academy of Clinical Toxicology
  • American Academy of Dermatology
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • American Association of Blood Banks
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Chest Physicians
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics
  • American College of Medical Toxicology
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • American College of Radiology
  • American College of Rheumatology
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Dental Association
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Headache Society
  • AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
  • American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • American Society of Echocardiography
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
  • American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • American Thoracic Society
  • American Urogynecologic Society
  • American Urological Association
  • Commission on Cancer
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Endocrine Society
  • Heart Rhythm Society
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • National Physicians Alliance
  • North American Spine Society
  • Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
  • Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
  • Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Society of Gynecologic Oncology
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Society for Vascular Medicine

Here is the full updated list of specialty medical society partners.

Choosing Wisely grantees

In spring 2015, the ABIM Foundation — with continued funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) — awarded a second round of grants to organizations that promote the goals of the Choosing Wisely campaign.

These new grants support seven initiatives focused on reducing utilization of inappropriate tests and treatments. Each initiative includes delivery systems, hospitals and/or medical groups collaborating with multi-stakeholder community-based groups and physician-led organizations.


Greater Detroit Area Health Council

The Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) has 70 years of experience leading multi-stakeholder projects on health care cost, quality, utilization and access. GDAHC will work with the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS), the Detroit Medical Center Physician Organization, The Henry Ford Physician Network and others to reduce unnecessary care in the Detroit region.

IHA logo

Integrated Healthcare Association

California’s Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), a nonprofit multi-stakeholder group focused on promoting quality improvement, accountability and affordability, will lead a project designed to promote appropriate care in both northern and southern California. IHA will partner with provider organizations Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (San Diego County) and Sutter Health (Sacramento/Central Valley/San Francisco Bay), the California chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP-CA), the Center for Healthcare Decisions (CHCD) and Blue Shield of California (BSC). 


Maine Quality Counts

Maine Quality Counts (MQC), a multi-stakeholder regional health improvement collaborative and previous Foundation grantee, will lead an effort focused on Maine’s Midcoast and Greater Bangor regions. MQC will work with local partners and statewide organizations: Maine Medical Association, Maine Osteopathic Association, Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, Maine Area Agencies on Aging, and providers Mid Coast Health System, Martin’s Point Health Care, Penobscot Community Health Care, and Joseph Healthcare.

NCHQAlogo_transparency GIF

North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance

The North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance, a non-profit health collaborative, will work to reduce unnecessary care in central North Carolina and the rest of the state. NCHQA will partner with the North Carolina Medical Society, Duke Medicine, Cornerstone Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.



University of California, Los Angeles

The UCLA Department of Medicine will lead a coalition of six partners working toward a dramatic reduction in low value care. The coalition includes: the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County DHS Primary Care Practice Based Research Network, The Wellness Center at Historic General Hospital, and the Society of General Internal Medicine.


Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance (WHA), a purchaser-led regional health improvement collaborative and previous grantee, will continue to partner with the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), another former grantee, to use Choosing Wisely to shape the state’s health care system. They will be joined by two provider organizations, Group Health Cooperative and Swedish Health Services.

WCHQ logo blue on white

Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), a regional healthcare collaborative and past ABIM Foundation grantee in advancing Choosing Wisely, will partner with provider organizations Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Monroe Clinic, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and the Wisconsin Medical Society.


As part of Choosing Wisely®, each participating specialty society has identified its own list of five common tests or procedures whose use in their profession should be discussed or questioned. The societies were given the following parameters to develop the lists:

  • Each item should be within the specialty’s purview and control;
  • Procedures should be used frequently and/or carry a significant cost; and
  • There needs to be evidence to support each recommendation.

Consumer Reports then is creating consumer education materials for each item, intended for patients and their families.