1st Québec Symposium on Overdiagnosis and launch of the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign

Overdiagnosis: The Québec Medical Association
continues its work regarding this major health care issue

Montréal, April 2, 2014 - The Québec Medical Association (QMA) is holding the 1st Québec Symposium on Overdiagnosis today in Montréal, which is being attended by physicians from all clinical environments, as well as representatives of medical and professional associations, the Collège des médecins du Québec and other professional orders, regional agencies and patient advocacy groups. At 4:30 p.m., the QMA will launch the Choisir avec soin campaign, the French component of the Canada-wide Choosing Wisely® Canada campaign organized by the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Canadian Medical Association, that aims to make physicians and patients more aware of the phenomenon of overdiagnosis.

This working session is part of an initiative related to optimizing clinical practice started by the QMA in April 2013 with the publication of a discussion paper followed by a QMA-led Québec delegation to the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference in New Hampshire last September.

1st Québec Symposium on Overdiagnosis

The discussions taking place today as part of this 1st symposium will enable participants from the health system and user groups to establish the foundations for an action plan to deal with the phenomenon of overdiagnosis.

In her opening remarks,Dr. Iona Heath, one of the leading figures in the international movement that is addressing overdiagnosis and overtreatment, set the stage for the discussions. Dr. Heath talked about the emergence of overdiagnosis, its social, financial and ethical impacts, and the leadership required from the medical profession to counter this phenomenon.

The work will continue in the afternoon after the speech by Dr. Anthony B. Miller, Professor Emeritus at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. His talk will focus primarily on cancer screening, in particular breast, prostate and lung cancer. Dr. Miller is a physician-epidemiologist, a consultant to the Division of Cancer Prevention, US National Cancer Institute and to the World Health Organization.

Choosing Wisely Canada

A logical extension of raising awareness about overdiagnosis, the Choisir avec soin campaign aims to encourage physicians and patients to engage in conversations about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures, and to support physicians so they can help patients make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.

About 30 medical specialty societies participating in this campaign have developed a list of five things that should be questioned. Wave 1 of 40 actions for physicians is being made public today. Nine of the actions are also intended for patients. These recommendations can be viewed on the Choosing Wisely Canada Web site (www.choosingwiselycanada.org).

"The saying 'more is better' is not always true. Some tests or treatments, and some procedures are unnecessary and do not add value to care," stated Dr. Laurent Marcoux, President of the Québec Medical Association. In fact, they take away from care by potentially exposing patients to harm, leading to more testing to investigate false positives and contributing to stress and avoidable costs for patients.

"Furthermore, unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures put greater pressure on the resources in our health care system. By eliminating overdiagnosis and overtreatment at all levels in the health care system, we could free up human and economic resources in order to offer better quality care and greater access to this care."

About the Québec Medical Association

The Québec Medical Association is made up of close to 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring together members of the Québec medical community in a context that promotes reflection and action in the best interests of the health of Quebecers.





Vanessa Roland
TACT Intelligence Conseil
Tell.: 514 667-0196, poste 405
Cell.: 514 966-8963
Email: vroland@tactconseil.ca