Enlisting Future Physicians in Choosing Wisely

They haven’t even started seeing patients, yet already future doctors are building Choosing Wisely values into their approach to medicine: Fifty first-year medical students from 25 institutions gathered at Dell Medical School in Austin on Dec. 2, to explore the campaign and brainstorm ways to take it back home to their campuses.

Because doctors acquire their practice habits early in their careers, “we should start as far upstream as we can in medical training,” says Chris Moriates, M.D., Assistant Dean for Healthcare Value at Dell, who organized the meeting.

Choosing Wisely is a campaign launched in 2012 by the ABIM Foundation to encourage doctors and patients to discuss medical tests and procedures that may not be necessary. The student program, called STARS, is based on one started in 2015 by Choosing Wisely Canada. It’s a student-led effort to incorporate the campaign’s themes into their own training, and to build a national community of likeminded young physicians. STARS stands for Students and Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship.

Moriates, acknowledging that the students often lack positions of power, urged them to exert their “personal power” to enlist colleagues, find faculty allies, and lead creative local efforts. These might range from interest groups to lunch presentations to journal clubs to inclusion of value-based medicine topics within existing courses.

The meeting was supported by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the ABIM Foundation, Choosing Wisely Canada, and Costs of Care.

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