An initiative that encourages doctors and patients to choose medical care wisely
More is not always better when it comes to health care, says Wendy Levinson, MD, a professor from the University of Toronto who was invited to lecture at Upstate. She is the chair of the Canadian version of an international initiative called "Choosing Wisely," which promotes conversations between medical providers and their patients so that they choose care that: 1. is supported by evidence, 2. does not duplicate other tests or procedures, 3. is free from harm and 4. is truly necessary. Levinson points out that up to 30 percent of medical tests and procedures may be unnecessary -- in the United States and in other countries. She discusses what leads to unnecessary care and shares five questions that she encourages patients to ask their doctors about any proposed treatment: 1. Do I really need this? 2. What are the downsides? 3. Are there simple, safe alternatives? 4. What if I do nothing? and 5. What will it cost?