Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely® is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to encourage physicians and patients to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary and, in some cases, can cause harm. In March 2013, the MMA, along with 20 other organizations across the country, received an ABIM Foundation grant to raise local physician awareness about Choosing Wisely.

In support of the project, national medical specialty societies have developed lists of commonly used tests or procedures in each specialty that should be questioned and discussed between physician and patient. With 135 recommendations – and counting - the Choosing Wisely campaign is for all physicians.

Importantly, Choosing Wisely recommendations are not to be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Rather, they are meant to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. As each patient situation is unique, physicians and patients should work together to use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

For the entire list of tests and procedures visit the Choosing Wisely website.

Choosing Wisely/MMA Videos

The MMA teamed up with Maple Grove-based Specialists in General Surgery to create two videos that encourage physicians and parents of pediatric patients to discuss the option of using ultrasound instead of a CT scan when a child presents with stomach pain.

To view the video geared toward physicians, click here. For the parents’ video, click here.


Choosing Wisely

Why Choosing Wisely is relevant:

Choosing Wisely is designed to improve physician-patient communication and help stem the use of unnecessary care that contributes to the high cost of health care. According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, more money is spent per capita on health care in the U.S. than in any other developed country. Plus, health care spending is expected to account for 19.8 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2020 if current spending trends remain unchanged.

MMA’s goals for its Choosing Wisely campaign:

  • Improve Minnesota physicians’ overall awareness of the Choosing Wisely initiative
  • Help assert the professional responsibility of physicians to reduce unnecessary care by normalizing physician-patient dialogue on the topic
  • Arm physician/clinic adopters of the program with enhanced skills to support meaningful and constructive conversations with patients – and, ultimately, better care decisions
  • Broadly share the experiences of project adopters to encourage further adoption
  • Advance the strategic work of the MMA - to help physicians deliver the highest-quality clinical care to all Minnesotans, to improve the efficiency of care, and to advance physician professionalism.

The MMA Choosing Wisely Advisory Committee:

  • Thomas Kottke, M.D., chair (Cardiovascular Diseases)
  • Julie Anderson, M.D. (Family Medicine)
  • Gregory Barsness, M.D. (Cardiology)
  • Grant Cravens, M.D. (Anesthesiology)
  • Elizabeth Fracica (Student)
  • Christine Jensen, M.D. (Colon & Rectal Surgery)
  • Kourtney Kemp, M.D. (General Surgery)
  • James MacNutt, M.D. (Neurological Surgery)
  • Lisa Mattson, M.D. (ObGyn)
  • Marilyn Peitso, M.D. (Pediatrics)
  • Bjorn Westgard, M.D. (Emergency Medicine)

Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2013


For more information

Contact Kristen Gloege, MMA’s director of health policy