Choosing Wisely

On February 21, 2013, SNMMI released a list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging as part of the Choosing Wisely®campaign, led by the ABIM Foundation. The list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support physicians and patients in making wise choices about their care.

Each society participating in the campaign has developed a list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.” By identifying specific tests or procedures that physician specialty societies say are commonly used but not always necessary or effective in their respective fields, the societies aim to stimulate discussion about the need—or lack thereof—for many frequently ordered tests or treatments, many of which are requested by patients.

SNMMI’s list identified the following five recommendations:

  1. Don’t use PET/CT for cancer screening in healthy individuals.
  2. Don't perform routine annual stress testing after coronary artery revascularization.
  3. Don’t use nuclear medicine thyroid scans to evaluate thyroid nodules in patients with normal thyroid gland function.
  4. Avoid using a computed tomography angiogram to diagnose pulmonary embolism in young women with a normal chest radiograph; consider a radionuclide lung study (“V/Q study”) instead.
  5. Don't use PET imaging in the evaluation of patients with dementia unless the patient has been assessed by a specialist in this field.


Choosing WiselyView the full list with supporting points and references.

The initiative is supported by influential consumer-oriented partners such as Consumer Reports, AARP, and Wikipedia. To learn more, visit



To create its list, SNMMI convened a working group consisting of the SNMMI leadership, presidents of the SNMMI Brain Imaging, Cardiovascular, General Clinical Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Oncology, and Pediatric councils, and several at-large members. The council presidents worked with their respective members to identify examples of nuclear medicine procedures that may not be used appropriately. Members who were not a part of the councils were encouraged to submit their suggestions by email. After a list was created, the working group determined the final “Five Things.

Additional Information