Physicians play a critical role in initiating conversations about appropriate care with patients and other clinicians. Choosing Wisely® is about doing the right thing for patients and avoiding care that could harm them. 

A national initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Choosing Wisely has enlisted more than 60 medical specialty societies to create lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" which provide specific evidence-based recommendations for conversations on the risks and benefits of various medical tests.

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
  • Truly necessary

The WSMA is offering a physician tool kit designed to help raise public awareness and garner support around appropriate test utilization. Below the tool kit you'll find Choosing Wisely educational modules as well as a comprehensive list of the participating specialty societies and their lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question." To learn more about the Choosing Wisely initiative, visit the national Choosing Wisely website.

Choosing Wisely Action Manual

For physicians or other health care leaders struggling with how to integrate Choosing Wisely's evidence-based best practices into their practices or organizations, the Choosing Wisely Action Manual takes a step-by-step approach to making system-level changes.


The Action Manual was created by the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force, a group of more than 20 medical leaders from the largest health care organizations in the state. The task force is co-sponsored by the WSMA, the Washington Health Alliance and the Washington State Hospital Association.

In 2014, the first statewide study in the nation to measure Choosing Wisely recommendations was published by the Washington Health Alliance in conjunction with the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force. The study, based upon claims data representing 3.3 million lives in Washington state, finds that patients in Washington may be exposed to care that they don’t need—and potential harm. A second report, published in 2016, showed improvement on six recommendations. The reports offer county-by-county results for nine different Choosing Wisely recommendations and are available here: 2014 Report | 2016 Report. The reports are based on the Choosing Wisely Claims-Based Technical Specifications (email to request a copy).

"5 Questions" poster for your exam or waiting room

5 Questions posterThe "5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before You Get Any Test, Treatment or Procedure" single-page flyer is a simple and effective way to encourage shared decision making. Post one in your exam room, or have them available in your waiting room. Any one of these five questions can help start the conversation for both the patient and physician to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time:

  1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
  5. How much does it cost?

Download the 5 Questions poster. [PDF]

Know Your Choices resources

The following resources can help physicians introduce Choosing Wisely, as well as all of the resources offered through the WSMA's Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor campaign to their patients.

Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor color flyer [PDF]
Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor color brochure [PDF]
Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor color billing stuffer [PDF]
Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor presentation [PPT]
Talking points on Know Your Choices - Ask Your Doctor for speeches [PDF]

Web-based education for physicians on Choosing Wisely

Interactive instructional modules, based on specialty society recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign, are now available. By completing the modules, physicians will learn strategies to build trust and address patient attitudes and beliefs.

New modules are available from:

  • American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Radiology
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Access the modules here

Click the society below to see their specific list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question”.

Choosing Wisely participating society lists

AMDA - Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Academy of Dermatology
American Academy of Family Physicians 
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Blood Banks
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The Endocrine Society
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
American College of Cardiology 
American College of Chest Physicians and American Thoracic Society
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Medical Toxicology and The American Academy oc Clinical Toxicology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
American College of Physicians
American College of Radiology
American College of Rheumatology
American College of Rheumatology - Pediatric Rheumatology
American College of Surgeons
American Gastroenterological Association 
American Geriatrics Society
American Headache Society
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
American Psychiatric Association
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Radiation Oncology
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Echocardiography
American Society of Gynecologic Oncology
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
American Urological Association
Commission on Cancer
Critical Care Societies Collaborative
Heart Rhythm Society
North American Spine Society
Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Society for Vascular Medicine
Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Society of Hospital Medicine - Adult Hospital Medicine
Society of Hospital Medicine - Pediatric Hospital Medicine