Medliorate

Improving medical students

Choosing the Best Stethoscope for Medical Students

Posted by medliorator on July 22, 2008

I would caution fresh medical students to stay away from the electronic stethoscopes. I have never use these devices. While I’m sure that their built-in microphones will help listeners catch even the faintest heart murmur, there is something to be said about learning the physical exam the old fashion way.

…you must buy a cardiology grade stethoscope. That includes a diaphragm, a bell, and a duel lumen tube. Instantly disqualified are the nursing-grade stethoscopes that your parents got you as a gift when you were accepted to medical school. You should plan to spend at least $100 on a quality model.

I prefer the Welch Allyn Tycos DLX. The sound quality is much, much better compared to the Littman. It has interchangeable ear pieces that come in various varieties of stiffness so that the user can choose based on comfort level. Finally, the diaphragm can be easily changed to a pediatric version. All I have to do is unscrew the adult version and then replace it with a pediatric one to convert my stethoscope into a listening device for the kids.

Ask the Half M.D.: what’s the best stethoscope? [Half MD]

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