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It is a collaboration between Dell Medical School and Costs of Care, with previous support from the ABIM Foundation, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and Choosing Wisely Canada.

For medical schools interested in participating in the STARS 2024 program, contact

About the Program

The 2020 Choosing Wisely Stars group outside the Health Learning Building

As part of its mission to improve health care delivery, Dell Med seeks to serve as an epicenter for value-based health care education. The school has created free online learning modules to teach basic concepts and emerging cutting-edge examples of value-based health care in the U.S.

Education and faculty development are necessary steps, but they are likely insufficient to truly achieve culture change in medical education. Dell Med believes that another way to support such change is through activating medical students to cultivate a grassroots, bottom-up campaign — with top-down support.

This model was introduced in 2015 by the Choosing Wisely Canada STARS program, which included two students from each of the 17 medical schools in Canada. During the first year of the program, Canadian medical students led several projects to advance Choosing Wisely, a campaign launched in 2012 to encourage clinicians and patients to discuss medical tests and procedures that may not be necessary.

In 2017, Dell Med directed and hosted the inaugural STARS program for U.S. medical students, selecting two first-year students from each of 25 medical schools across the country to participate. Each school identified a local faculty mentor and committed to high-level support from the dean’s office.

The program began with a leadership summit and followed with an engaging learning community that supports students as they advance their own local Choosing Wisely projects. As of 2023, the program is now on its sixth cohort of medical students, with 2023 marking the first year that the program has included interprofessional students.

Through STARS, medical students are leading from where they stand, lifting all up toward a shared purpose of ensuring the best care for and with patients.

This program is such a wonderful opportunity to change medical school culture from the inside. Students teaching students about resource stewardship. It doesn’t get better than that.

Anne Smeraglio, M.D., Faculty Member, Oregon Health & Science University

Participating Schools

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Creighton University
  • Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Florida State University
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Louisiana State University
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • New York Medical College
  • New York University — Long Island
  • Northwestern University
  • Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Texas A&M University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Queensland — Ochsner Clinical School
  • The University of Vermont — The Larner College of Medicine
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Medicine
  • University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
  • University of Mississippi School of Medicine
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
  • University of Virginia
  • UT Health San Antonio
  • Wake Forest University
  • William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

Related Information

More About Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. It produces lists of ways to “choose wisely” by specialty.

Discovering Value-Based Health Care

Integrate the concept of health care value, formally or informally, into your local curriculum. Dell Med’s Discovering Value-Based Health Care modules are free!

Costs of Care InnoVATE Podcasts

The InnoVATE platform is dedicated to promoting innovators in health care who are advancing innovations in value, affordability, training and/or education, while also inspiring patients, clinicians and health care systems to improve the affordability of health care for all.

STARS' Impact

U.S. medical students have participated from 50-plus U.S. medical schools
Of STARS participants started initiatives at their schools to highlight Choosing Wisely and high-value care concepts
Of survey respondents agreed that exposure to the STARS program had a positive effect on how they will practice medicine as a resident