Choosing the Right Stethoscope

As this is the blog for doctors by doctors, it can be safely assumed that you all have purchased and own a stethoscope.  But do you have the right stethoscope?  One that is constructed of high quality materials and performs it’s job in the most effective manner thereby saving you tons of agony over the years?  Don’t assume you have the best one.

The reason we are even discussing this is because at my hospital, nurses and doctors alike have all opted for some of the cheapest stethoscopes available, and as most of us know, you get what you pay for.  So why deal with asking your patient to “breath deeply one more time” five more times, when one more time would have truly sufficed?  You shouldn’t have to.  Saving this extra 30 seconds a day per patient over the course of an entire career could make your life so much easier.  If you have a private practice, the amount of money a proper stethoscope would earn you could be tens of thousands of times the value of the stethoscope itself.

It is fairly common for nurses and doctors to just go buy a Littmann stethoscope and think they’ve done the right thing.  They started to make the right purchase and then got lazy.  The common knowledge is that Littmann’s are the best, but like any company, Littmann provides tiers of quality to accommodate buyers who prefer different pricing structures.  So even though you purchased and use a Littmann, it could be one of the lesser models.  I direct people to read some stethoscope reviews before buying, and to highly consider the Littmann Cardiology III model.  Spending the extra $50 dollars today will save you countless amounts of money and time over the course of years.

For instance, it blows my mind that anybody uses a stethoscope that doesn’t have soft ear tips.  It blows my mind that they use tiny diaphragms that aren’t tunable, and ones with two tubes because it doesn’t have a double chestpiece.  All of these shortcuts are designed to cut the price of the stethoscope but that in turn cuts the quality as well.  Do not skimp out here folks.  Do yourself the favor and upgrade your stethoscope today.