American College of Preventive Medicine Releases Choosing Wisely Recommendations


Contact: Andrea Lowe, Director, Policy and Practice
Phone: 202-466-2044 x107


National conference showcased new ACPM recommendations for Choosing Wisely® initiative

Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2015) – The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), the nation’s leading society of physicians committed to health promotion and disease prevention, and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation have added five new recommendations to the Choosing Wisely initiative. The ABIM Foundation, which partners with Consumer Reports and medical societies like the ACPM, spearheaded this initiative to encourage conversations between doctors and patients about unnecessary tests and procedures that are not effective and could cause harm.

Adopting these five recommendations saves lives and improves care. Two of these recommendations are innovations for Choosing Wisely that go beyond the individual patient encounter and help to improve the health of the whole population.

The five new ACPM recommendations are:

  1. Don’t take a multi-vitamin, vitamin E, or beta carotene to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. These supplements provide no benefit and may cause harm. According to ACPM Choosing Wisely Task Force Chair, Cat Livingston, MD, MPH, “The U.S. public spends a fortune on vitamins. Unless they have specific vitamin deficiencies these supplements are, at best, a waste of money and at worst, can lead to more deaths.” ACPM will work with Consumer Reports to develop a detailed two-pager on this recommendation, expected to be published in late 2015.
  2. Don’t routinely perform prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer in men who do not have symptoms. Harms, such as incontinence and impotence are common and benefits are very small.
  3. Don’t use whole body scans (using computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or others) for early tumor detection in asymptomatic patients. These scans do not save lives and can result in unnecessary tests and procedures.
  4. Don’t use expensive medications when an equally effective and lower-cost medication is available. Use lower cost and generic medications in all situations when it is possible. When people can afford needed medications, they are more likely to take them and lower their risk of death and illness.
  5. Don’t perform screening for cervical cancer in low-risk women aged 65 years or older and in women who have had a total hysterectomy for benign disease.

ACPM President, Dan Blumenthal, MD, MPH, FACPM states “ACPM’s recommendations are consistent with the national goals of the ‘Triple Aim’—to improve health outcomes, improve the quality of health care, and reduce health care costs. We are pleased to partner with the Choosing Wisely initiative, ABIM Foundation, and Consumer Reports to promote these recommendations and encourage conversations among doctors and patients about unnecessary tests and procedures.”

About ACPM

The American College of Preventive Medicine is the national professional society for physicians committed to disease prevention and health promotion. Founded in 1954, ACPM provides leadership in research, professional education, development of public policy, and enhancement of standards of preventive medicine. Specialists in preventive medicine are uniquely trained in both clinical medicine and public health. They have the skills needed to understand and reduce the risks of disease, disability and death in individuals and in population groups.

More information on ACPM is available at