The vignettes below emerged from research the Foundation conducted to better understand public and professional attitudes about stewardship of finite resources. The results of this research are helping us learn how to better communicate the need for everyone in the health care system to work together to ensure its sustainability.

Choosing Wisely: The Impact of Rising Costs on Health Care

Dr. Joe Marine, a cardiologist from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, shares the impact rising health care costs has on his patients and how it affects the way he practices. In addition, he describes how he views his responsibility to use resources wisely and effectively, while meeting the expectations of his patients and society.

Choosing Wisely: The Doctor/Patient Relationship

Sara is intimately familiar with the health care system; she has type-2 diabetes, and has had two below-the-knee amputations due to vascular and circulation issues. Because of her complex medical history, she's worked with a wide spectrum of physicians and specialists across the system. When it comes to making decisions about her health, Sarah says it comes down to one thing: trust.

Choosing Wisely: Knowing the Costs of Health Care

Dr. Dana Frank, an internist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, argues health care resources are in abundance but improvement is needed in the way they are utilized. In this vignette, he offers up several solutions to improve resource use, including the need to educate physicians and patients on the costs of the services they use.

Choosing Wisely: The Importance of Shared Decision-Making

Stephen is a former Marine who, on top of suffering two strokes, has also faced a difficult decision involving an injury in his left knee. He understands the importance of his primary care physician coordinating his care, and says he appreciates the way he and his wife are included as part of his health care decision-making process.

Choosing Wisely: The Need to Simplify Health Care

Dr. Ann Morrill, an endocrinologist at Maryland Medical Center, describes barriers to care delivery, and stresses the importance of conserving one resource in particular: time.

Choosing Wisely: Changing Decision-Making to Provide the Best Care

Dr. Eva Hersh, a family physician at Chase Brexton Health Services in Maryland, shares the changes she feels are necessary to improve health care resource use, including changing the default standard of care for end-of-life treatment.