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Momentum grows for Choosing Wisely Canada campaign

Twelve more medical specialty societies and six community partners have joined Choosing Wisely Canada as momentum grows to change the approach to using diagnostic tests, treatments and/or procedures and encouraging better doctor-patient communications.

The announcement of this new campaign phase brings the number of medical specialty societies participating in Choosing Wisely Canada to 21.

“Our aim is to encourage a culture change in which patients and physicians no longer assume that more is automatically better in high-quality care,” said to Dr. Wendy Levinson, chair of the Canadian campaign.

“This is a physician-led exercise that is based on the latest and best evidence for the right care.’’

The most recent specialty societies to join the campaign have released 61 new recommendations about tests, treatments and/or procedures that may be overused. The goal is to encourage physicians and patients to question whether these interventions are necessary.

Launched in April, Choosing Wisely Canada has received enthusiastic endorsement from several organizations, including all provincial and territorial medical associations and these associations have established mechanisms to support adoption of the lists of tests and procedures needing assessment. The campaign has been favourably portrayed in the media and on social media.

“It (Choosing Wisely Canada) is the right thing to do and as a profession we have a responsibility to deliver the best possible care that is based on evidence,” said Dr. Cindy Forbes, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

Canada is now one of 10 countries with a Choosing Wisely campaign, said Forbes. She described the campaign as still being in the early stages and predicted “with time it will grow and flourish.”

Levinson noted the campaign is gaining phenomenal support from medical trainees and is starting to impact the culture of how medicine is practised.

Medical societies that have most recently joined the campaign:

  • Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
  • Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists
  • Canadian Association of Pathologists
  • Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology
  • Canadian Hematology Society
  • Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Canadian Society for Transfusion Medicine
  • Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Canadian Society of Nephrology
  • Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
  • Canadian Urological Association
  • Occupational Medicine Specialists of Canada

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.