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Choosing Wisely should bring the cost of unnecessary care back into the discussion
  1. Margje H Haverkamp1,
  2. Maxime Cauterman2,
  3. Gert P Westert3
  1. 1 Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Direction Generale de l'Offre de Soins, Ministere des Affaires sociales et de la Sante, 14, avenue Duquesne, Paris, France
  3. 3 Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Scientific Center for Quality of Healthcare (IQ healthcare), Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margje H Haverkamp, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Kresge Building, room 408, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; mhhaverk{at}

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Choosing Wisely (CW) identifies low-value, wasteful medical interventions whose elimination increases the quality of care and likely reduces its costs.1 Since its launch in 2012, this grassroot campaign has galvanised many in the medical world. Physicians acknowledge their collective responsibility in reducing overuse, and patient engagement in the campaign suggests times are changing in the medical office.

CW was set up in response to the publication of a charter coauthored by the American Board of Internal Medicine, ‘Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium’ (2002).2 This physician charter mentioned the principle of ‘primacy of patient welfare’ along with the commitment to ‘a just distribution of finite resources’. Thus, CW would kill two birds with one stone: reduce waste and receive quality and financial sustainability in exchange. However, the CW campaign quickly reached consensus on dropping the cost objective and …

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  • Contributors All authors have seen and approved the content and contributed significantly to the work. This is the first time we submit the report and it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  • Funding MHH is a 2015–2016 Harkness fellow from the Commonwealth Fund.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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