In 2012 the American Board of Internal Medicine foundation launched an initiative to decrease unnecessary spending in Healthcare. This Choosing Wisely campaign designates potentially unnecessary medical tests that Physicians should discuss with Patients before ordering. This list has been updated many times, by various medical organizations throughout the United States. There are now about 550 recommendations!
Some items on the list from the American Academy of Family Physicians (of which Dr. Anderson is a member) include: 1) Do not perform X-rays or other imaging studies for low back pain within the first six weeks, unless red flags are present. 2) No routine antibiotics for sinus infections unless symptoms last for more than 10 days, or symptoms worsen after initial improvement. 3) No DEXA screening (bone density tests) in women younger than 65 and men younger than 70 without risk factors (NEW). 4) No annual EKGs on low-risk patients without symptoms. 5) No Pap smears on women younger than 21, older than age 65, or those who have had a hysterectomy for non-cancer disease. No routine Pelvic exams. 6) No carotid artery ultrasound in asymptomatic adult patients. 7) No routine antibiotics for ear infections in children age 2 – 12 with non-severe symptoms. 8) No daily home glucose monitoring for patients who have Type 2 DM and are not using insulin.
While these ideas are interesting, most of these recommendations apply to people who do not have symptoms of illness or disease. Any of these tests should be discussed with your own medical provider to see if they apply to you. For more information, please see the Choosing Wisely campaigns on the website: www.choosingwisely.org, accessed 3/6/21.