brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2014;89(5):329

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

The Choosing Wisely campaign is now in phase 3. If you are already familiar with it, great, because we have some new ways to help you incorporate it more effectively into your practice. But, in case you are not familiar with it, this campaign is an unprecedented effort by 60 medical specialty societies who have collectively contributed more than 200 key clinical recommendations to help promote best practices and avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful medical interventions.1

American Family Physician (AFP) has helped to get the word out about the Choosing Wisely campaign.2 Starting with phase 2, we crafted a table of nearly 100 recommendations of particular interest to primary care clinicians, organized by discipline ( We also featured individual recommendations on AFP's home page, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

As of February 1, 2014, phase 3 of the Choosing Wisely campaign adds more than 90 new primary care–relevant recommendations to the list (with more to come), which we have incorporated into the summary table.4 To make it easier to browse and access the increasing number of recommendations, you can search the recommendations relevant to primary care by key word, topic area, or sponsoring organization at

One of the challenges of the Choosing Wisely campaign is making the leap from publication to practice. Simply posting a long list of recommendations on a website is insufficient. The trick will be to turn the recommendations into action. To help readers with this, we recently introduced a new feature in AFP's review articles. Articles with topics related to Choosing Wisely recommendations will include a table of “Best Practices” that highlights the relevant recommendations. For an example, go to We hope that this will keep these important recommendations in the forefront, and reinforce them in the context of the topic at hand. Other challenges for the campaign include enhancing the evidence base for these recommendations, and showing that following them in routine practice leads to better patient outcomes.

Previous review articles have covered Choosing Wisely recommendations related to antibiotic use in patients with upper respiratory tract infections,5 appropriate and safe use of diagnostic imaging,6 and preoperative testing before noncardiac surgery.7 Future articles and editorials will highlight Choosing Wisely recommendations and other best practices in preventive medicine, geriatrics, and patient safety, among others.

AFP is taking a multifaceted approach to making the Choosing Wisely campaign relevant and accessible to our readers by:

  • Selecting and organizing recommendations relevant to primary care.

  • Highlighting key recommendations on the AFP home page, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, and in our review articles.

  • Creating a unique and easily searchable database of all recommendations relevant to primary care on our website (

We hope that these steps will help readers put these recommendations into practice, and achieve their goals of improving care and reducing harm. If you have any other suggestions for how we can facilitate this endeavor, please e-mail us at

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Siwek is editor of AFP, and Dr. Lin is associate deputy editor for AFP Online.

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.