Second Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, September 15-17, 2014, Oxford, UK


Following the extraordinary success of the 2013 conference, we are pleased to announce the second Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, which will be hosted by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford UK. Register via the red button on the right and sign up for updates on Preventing Overdiagnosis conferences.

We had an overwhelming response to the call for abstracts. Those accepted will be presented in short oral scientific sessions or guided poster sessions, topics covered are on the problem of overdiagnosis and potential solutions. Abstract themes can relate to any of the conference sub-themes including: the prevalence of overdiagnosis, methods for researching and measuring the problem, its causes or consequences, policy interventions and communication strategies. Work on defining overdiagnosis, and placing the problem within historical and cultural contexts are also welcomed. While the conference is primarily a scientific gathering, presentations can come from policy makers and consumer representatives.

Please view the programme to see the presentation and workshop titles for 2014.

Keynotes for 2014 announced

We are excited to also announce the following confirmed keynote speakers for the 2014 conference at Oxford:

Jack Jack Wennberg – pioneer and leading researcher of unwarranted variation in the healthcare industry. The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, at The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Author of Tracking Medicine; a book which connects the problem of unwarranted variation to over- “and mis”-diagnosis.

Linn Getz – MD, Professor, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Alexandra Barratt – Professor of Epidemiology, University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Australia.

Margaret McCartney – GP in Glasgow, Scotland, and writer for a range of media, newspapers and journals including the British Medical Journal, and BBC Radio 4′s Inside Health.

Sir John Burn – former head of the Institute of Human Genetics, current Genetics Lead for the National Institute of Health Research and medical director of a new start-up planning to produce hand-held DNA testing devices.

Iona Heath – former president Royal College of General Practitioners, London, England.

Barry Kramer – National Cancer Institute, United States

David Haslam – Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE , past President and Chairman of RCGP, and Past President BMA

John Yudkin – Emeritus Professor of Medicine, university College London

Rustam Al-Shahi Salman – Professor of clinical neurology and honorary consultant neurologist

Keynote Session Chairs

Fiona Godlee – Editor-in-chief BMJ

Paul Glasziou – Director Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice

Carl Heneghan – Director Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

You can download an e-flyer for the conference here.

See the BMJ's Too Much Medicine campaign page here

What people said about the 2013 conference in Dartmouth...

“The just completed conference 'Preventing Overdiagnosis' was easily the most important meeting I ever attended”
Allen Frances, chair DSM IV Taskforce, US

“My experience in Dartmouth is going to have a great impact in my life, both as a doctor and a researcher”
Minna Johansson, GP trainee, PhD student, Sweden

"I very much enjoyed attending this conference, both for the outstanding presentations and for connecting with excellent colleagues from every discipline and clinical specialty."
Dr Georgios Lyratzopoulos, Clinical Senior Research Associate and NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK

“This was a vitally important conference for those who care about their patients, are concerned about what has happened to medical research and modern medicine, and the impact this is having on the health systems of countries around the world.”
Lynda Williams, Auckland Women's Health Council, NZ

Dr Leana Wen, attending emergency physician and director of patient centered care research at George Washington University, US

"One of the most enjoyable meetings I have been to, both personally and professionally"
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, BMJ

Global Conference Statement released at 2013
‘Preventing Overdiagnosis’ Conference

Overdiagnosis harms people world-wide and exacerbates under-treatment by wasting much needed resources. (1) Over 320 scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and consumer advocates from almost 30 countries across 6 continents have just attended the first scientific conference on preventing overdiagnosis, and related problems of overmedicalization, overdetection, diagnosis creep and overtreatment. (2) The conference was organized by an alliance of one of the world’s most respected medical journals, BMJ and the United States’ most trusted consumer organisation, Consumer Reports, The Dartmouth Institute and Australia’s Bond University.

Over 150 presenters shared the science of overdiagnosis and proposals to wind back the harms of too much medicine, safely and fairly, consistent with people’s values. The conference builds on momentum from efforts to reduce overtesting and overtreatment, such as the Less is More,(3) Choosing Wisely, (4) Selling Sickness, (5) and the Right Care initiatives. (6)

The conference identified the following priorities:

• Strengthen the science of overdiagnosis, develop consensus around methods to measure the problem, and evaluate strategies to maximise benefits and minimise harms.

• Develop and incorporate education about overdiagnosis into standard clinical training for health professionals and students.

• Advance strategies to inform the public and policy-makers about the problem and find effective ways to communicate about what are often counter intuitive issues.

• Build on efforts in health systems around the world to reduce overdiagnosis and combat perverse incentives that turn too many people into patients unnecessarily. In particular, change how diseases are defined, by minimizing professional and financial conflicts of interest among expert panels, and by rigorously assessing the benefits and harms of expanding disease definitions.

Disclaimer: These are views of participants and should not be taken to represent the views of their employers, or governments.

(1) Illich I, Limits to Medicine. Marion Boyers. (reprint) 2000; Welch G, Schwartz L, Woloshin S. Overdiagnosed:Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. Boston:Beacon;2011; Brownlee S. Overtreated: why too much medicine is making us sicker and poorer. Bloomsbury; 2007; Moynihan R, Doust J, Henry D (2012) Preventing overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy. BMJ 344: e3502; Berwick D, Hackbarth, A. Eliminating Waste in US Health Care. JAMA 2012;307(14):1513-1516


(3) Grady D, Redberg R. Less is more: how less health care can result in better health. Arch Intern Med 2010;170:749-50.

(4) Choosing Wisely. US physician groups identify commonly used tests or procedures they say are often not necessary. Press release, 4 April 2012. .



To read the statement in French, click here

Keynote speakers at 2013 conference:

Virginia Moyer, Chair, United States Preventive Services Task Force
Lisa Schwartz & Steven Woloshin, Professors of Medicine, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, co-authors Overdiagnosed
Jim Guest, President and CEO, Consumer Reports
Otis Brawley, author How we do Harm, Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society
Peter Gøtzsche, Director, Nordic Cochrane Centre
Allen Frances, Chair DSM IV Task Force, author Saving Normal
Barry Kramer, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute
Iona Heath, former president, Royal College of General Practitioners
Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, BMJ

Preventing Overdiagnosis 2014 is being visually documented. By your attendance you acknowledge that you have been informed that you may be photographed and recorded during this event. Images taken will be treated as poroperty of Preventing Overdiagnosis and may be used in the future for promotional purposes. This images may be used without limitation by any organisation approved by Preventingoverdiagnosis and edited prior to publication as seen fit for purpose.
Images will be available on the internet, accessible to internet users throughout the world including countries that may have less extensive data protection laws than partnering organisation countries.
All films will be securely stored on the university of Oxford and BMJ servers.
Please make yourself known at the registration desk if you wish to remain off camera.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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