In October 2016 the Academy officially launched Choosing Wisely, although work began on the programme in 2015.

Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses. By having discussions that are informed by the doctor, but take into account what’s important to the patient too, both sides can be supported to make better decisions about care. Often, this will help to avoid tests, treatments or procedures that are unlikely to be of benefit. an initiative to promote conversations between doctors and patients. The aim of the programme is to help patients and their clinicians choose care that is:

  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm
  • Truly necessary
  • Consistent with patients’ values.


Choosing Wisely UK is focusing on shared decision making and encouraging every patient to ask the following five questions when they see their doctor or nurse:

  1. Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
  2. What are the risks or downsides?
  3. What are the possible side effects?
  4. Are there simpler, safer options?
  5. What will happen if I do nothing?


Please see the Choosing Wisely UK website for more information on the initiative and the current recommended tests, treatments and procedures that may have limited benefit to patients and who’s routine use can be questioned.

The Choosing Wisely work is being managed by Joan Reid