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‘Choosing Wisely’ when it comes to overused medical treatments

Are CT scans associated with radiation exposure unnecessary?
Are CT scans associated with radiation exposure unnecessary?
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

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If your child hits his or her head and is rushed to the emergency room, he or she should automatically get a CT scan, right? Not so fast, says a recommendation from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM,) a consortium of over 30 professional medical organizations. CT scanning is associated with radiation exposure that may escalate future cancer risk and may be unnecessary. Doctors who automatically order a CT scan, or who immediately prescribe antibiotics for respiratory illnesses are probably not ‘Choosing Wisely,’ according to the ABIM. The organization’s campaign, called Choosing Wisely, aims to “promote conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm and truly necessary.”

Which so-called ‘overused medical treatments’ have you had and do you regret having a procedure that you feel was unnecessary? How can doctors work with patients to better prevent overusing medical treatments?

Read the full recommendation and list of overused medical treatments at

Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president & COO of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation who spearheads the “Choosing Wisely” initiative

Kavita K. Patel, adjunct assistant clinical professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine