Physicians have a responsibility to practice effective and efficient health care and to use health care resources responsibly. Parsimonious care that utilizes the most efficient means to effectively diagnose a condition and treat a patient respects the need to use resources wisely and to help ensure that resources are equitably available.— American College of Physicians Ethics Manual: Sixth Edition, 20121
The ACP should be applauded for its engagement of costs. Is “parsimonious” the right word? Perhaps there are better ones, but “frugal,” “prudent,” “thrifty,” “cost-conscious,” and others would also raise objections. Whatever we call this necessary quality, the conversation could use a dose of reality. Calling it parsimonious is a reasonable start.