A hot dog with too much mustard on it. A washing machine overflowing with soap suds. A suitcase with clothes spilling out of it. These images aren’t what you expect to see when you go to your doctor — but in primary care waiting rooms across Canada, posters with these images hang on the walls.
The posters, accompanied with the message “More Is Not Always Better,” are intended to prompt patients to talk to their physicians about what kind of care is right for them.
Behind the eye-catching posters is Choosing Wisely, an international movement that began in the United States and has since spread around the world. It was launched in 2012 by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to advance a national dialogue on how to avoid unnecessary medical tests, treatments, and procedures. Today, more than 20 countries have developed campaigns based on a simple but compelling premise: conversations between doctors and patients can help patients choose care that is based on evidence, truly necessary, not duplicative, and free from harm.