Doctors and Stethoscopes

The classic stethoscope is the most well known tool of the doctor. That and the white doctor's coat are among the most widely recognized features of the profession. Although the coat is more aesthetic in nature the stethoscope provides the doctor means with which to hear the inner most workings of the heart and its four major chambers.

A good doctor or cardiologist can diagnose most any heart condition just by taking a listen to the chest and back through a classic stethoscope. Every condition sounds slightly different and thus if the stethoscope is sensitive enough the doctor can hear and diagnose everything from hypertension to clogged arteries correctly. The trick is about gaining enough experience to recognize the sounds and buying the best classic stethoscope for the job.

This is the most popular stethoscope sold today.
3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope, Black Tube, 27 inch, 3128
Amazon Price: $149.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)
The Cardiology III stethoscope however is a much better instrument. It allows you to hear inside the body far more clearly and accurately.

Identifying Heart Problems With A Cardiology Stethoscope

One of the most obvious things that can go wrong in the heart is clogging of the arteries. Plaque buildup in arteries accumulates over time and if it gets bad enough can slow blood flow into the heart and begin the process of heart disease and possibly heart attack. A trained ear using a classic stethoscope is capable of detecting this condition in certain circumstances. The physician may find however that other conditions may exist. These are more frequently heard in the heart and thought they are less common they are more likely to be discovered using the classic stethoscope.

Weakened or malformed heart rhythms and arterial hypertension or high blood pressure are among the most easily diagnosed heart conditions that can be detected from a doctor's stethoscope. Lower blood pressure levels may be tough for a novice to detect but sometimes even an untrained person using a bad stethoscope can detect poor heart rhythms whereas only the best stethoscope and the best cardiologist can detect the presence of a more subtle condition.

Unfortunately most family physicians are not cardiologists and so you are less likely to be diagnosed with one of these conditions without further symptoms but those who have a history of heart disease or heart disease in the family may wish to see a doctor that specializes in this field if only for this benefit. Their doctors will be the most proficient using the stethoscope.

The Classic Stethoscope

The Doctor's Stethoscope

The classic stethoscope is a very old tool that doctors have used for generations but it has not waned in its importance to medicine. If you walk around a hospital you will see virtually every doctor adorning a quality stethoscope around his neck or in his pocket. You may even want to buy one yourself to familiarize yourself with it and the sounds of your heart. Even if you don't learn much about heart rhythms or diseases a classic stethoscope can be a great tool for monitoring a pulse or even instilling a love for medicine and science in a young child.

If you are in medical school or entering residency then surely you know how to use a stethoscope and are likely using a stethoscope alreay. At this point in your career you will be choosing which stethoscope too use as opposed to whether you should buy a stethoscope or not. Keep in mind that the bet quality stethoscope will last for many years if you take care of it and will help you learn the subtle differences of heart rhythms easier than if you were using a low quality stethoscope. I'm a fan of buying the best as this is the tool of your trade but the decision is up to you. The classic stethoscope will be a part of your professional life and you should be comfortable with what you carry.

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope, Black Tube, 28 inch, 2450
Amazon Price: $42.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)
This is one of the most inexpensive stethoscopes you can can get from Littmann without buying something used. It's a great starter unit for medical students or for those on tight budgets.