National Academy of Medicine

Choosing Wisely: Grounded in Physician Professionalism

By Christine K. Cassel
June 14, 2013 | Commentary

According to the Institute of Medicine report Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, as much as $750 billion or 30 percent of health care expenditures may be wasted, including a substantial share from services that are not necessary or appropriate.

As physicians, it is our ethical and professional responsibility to make sure that our patients get only the care that is needed and provides benefit. But, often, physicians say they have difficulty saying no to patients’ requests for tests or treatments. Research by Eric Campbell at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy found that more than one-third of physicians said they would accommodate a patient who badly wanted a test, even if the physician knew it was unnecessary.

 

Note

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.