Medical Tests You May Not Need

August 9, 2012
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Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort of the ABIM Foundation (Advancing Medical Professionalism to Improve Health Care) to help physicians be better stewards of finite health care resources. 

Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort of the ABIM Foundation (Advancing Medical Professionalism to Improve Health Care) to help physicians be better stewards of finite health care resources. 

 
The goal of this campaign is to help physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders think and talk about overuse of health care resources in the United States.
 
Originally piloted by the National Physicians Alliance through a Putting the Charter into Practice grant, nine medical specialty organizations, along with Consumer Reports, have identified five tests or procedures commonly used in their field, whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. 
 
The resulting “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” will spark discussion about the need—or lack thereof—for many frequently ordered tests or treatments. It received national New York Times attention earlier this year. Here are tests in question.
 
 
EKGs and exercise stress tests
Imaging tests for headaches
Treating sinusitis
Imaging tests for lower-back pain

Bone-density tests
Pap tests
Treating heartburn and GERD 

Read more in this Consumer Reports document.