Choosing Wisely has its beginnings in 2002 with the publication of Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, the American College of Physicians Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine.
The charter provided a new set of professional responsibilities for medical practice. Among the commitments set out were: ‘managing conflicts of interest, improving the quality of care, improving access to care, and promoting the just distribution of finite resources’. These principles underpin Choosing Wisely.
In April 2012, the ABIM Foundation, Consumer Reports, and nine medical specialty societies launched the Choosing Wisely campaign. The response to the campaign far exceeded expectations and now more than 100 medical societies have joined and hundreds of evidence-based recommendations have been translated into consumer-friendly language and are used by tens of millions of consumers. The campaign’s success has been attributed to its unique focus on professional values and consumer–clinician interactions.
Choosing Wisely Canada was launched in 2014 and similar initiatives are being implemented in Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand, the UK as well as in Australia.