Choosing Wisely

I have found a web site that I think will interest you as both a parent and a consumer of medical care for yourself and family.  It is www.choosingwisely.org.  Twenty Six specialty societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have joined together to list “The 5 Things Patients and Physicians Should Question”.  Each society has its top 5.  The AAP has its 5 also, but I read them, and it is unlikely that your child would even need to engage in any of them.  But I would read it, and also read the other 8 societies lists to get an understanding of procedures and medications that may not be needed, but are often ordered by physicians or asked for by parents.

Remember that in medicine, our advice given to you is predicated on what is the best available evidence. Many years ago, I recommended delaying solid food introduction in infants until about 6 months of age.  New evidence over the past several years has clearly shown that earlier introduction at about 4 months is just fine for many, if not most children.  So I have changed my recommendation.  We used to recommend routine use of cold and cough medication, but that has changed, as these medications have clearly been shown to be of no use and have potential side effects.  In other words, the benefit does not outweigh the risk.

So we are not perfect, and we have a lot to learn and teach you as parents.  Always feel free to ask me the question “What is the best available evidence”?