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Buying Medical Equipment for MS1

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n3ur05ur930n

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Guys,

I got my orientation materials and there is quite a bit of medical equipment listed:

-Oto-ophthalmoscope Diagnostic Set
-Sphygmomanometer
-Stethoscope
-128 tuning fork
-512 tuning fork
-tape measure
-disposable wooden tongue depressors
-penlight
-reflex hammer
-doctor bag for your supplies
-watch
-clipboard

All of these items are listed as required.

What does everyone think? Should I wait until the practice of medicine class starts and see what other classmates think? Should I try and buy it all as cheaply as possible on eBay? Should I wait and try to buy them off second, third or fourth years who advertise on bulletin boards once I get to school and classes start?

I imagine for example the stethoscope will be something I will use all the time so I will definitely buy that, but what about the others?
 

Law2Doc

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n3ur05ur930n said:
Guys,

I got my orientation materials and there is quite a bit of medical equipment listed:

-Oto-ophthalmoscope Diagnostic Set
-Sphygmomanometer
-Stethoscope
-128 tuning fork
-512 tuning fork
-tape measure
-disposable wooden tongue depressors
-penlight
-reflex hammer
-doctor bag for your supplies
-watch
-clipboard

All of these items are listed as required.

What does everyone think? Should I wait until the practice of medicine class starts and see what other classmates think? Should I try and buy it all as cheaply as possible on eBay? Should I wait and try to buy them off second, third or fourth years who advertise on bulletin boards once I get to school and classes start?

I imagine for example the stethoscope will be something I will use all the time so I will definitely buy that, but what about the others?

Vendors will make presentations and offer group deals to your class at some later date -- I personally would wait. You might be able to get a better deal at one of the internet vendors but you can compare prices then. The tuning forks and reflex hammers are likely going to get thrown in as freebies with the more expensive hardware, so I wouldn't buy those outright. Once you get out of med school, you will likely use the blood pressure cuffs hanging on the walls of the hospital/office, so no reason to own a good one of those. Similarly the otoscope is not going to be a practice necessity unless you go into a couple of specific specialties, so you may not want the best of the line. And doctors bags are basically an advertisement to muggers that you might have pharmaceuticals on hand, so a knapsack or other nondescript pack is probably a smarter move.
 

jllander

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You are gonna need a watch with a second hand to take pulses. I also find it's handy to have a penlight to look in mouthes and at pupils. Don't get the doctor's bag. You'll carry all your stuff in your white coat. The bag will just be a nuisance. I went ahead and bought a 512 tuning fork and reflex hammer. They are only like $10-15 each. They won't break the bank. Good luck!
 

AmoryBlaine

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n3ur05ur930n said:
Guys,

I got my orientation materials and there is quite a bit of medical equipment listed:

-Oto-ophthalmoscope Diagnostic Set
-Sphygmomanometer
-Stethoscope
-128 tuning fork
-512 tuning fork
-tape measure
-disposable wooden tongue depressors
-penlight
-reflex hammer
-doctor bag for your supplies
-watch
-clipboard

All of these items are listed as required.

What does everyone think? Should I wait until the practice of medicine class starts and see what other classmates think? Should I try and buy it all as cheaply as possible on eBay? Should I wait and try to buy them off second, third or fourth years who advertise on bulletin boards once I get to school and classes start?

I imagine for example the stethoscope will be something I will use all the time so I will definitely buy that, but what about the others?

They are not required. What you need: stethoscope, tuning fork, reflex hammer +/- penlight, measuring tape.

I remember being scared into buying hundreds of dollars worth of crap b/c as an M1 you think you have to do everything exactly by the book.

If you buy a blood pressure cuff, 2 freqs of hammer, and a super-expensive otoscope you are going to look back in 2 years and realize that a) you never used them and b) you have managed to learn how to take BP w/o practicing on your roomate and c) you wasted alot of money. Trust me.
 

Wee Free Woman

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Schools are sending out detailed lists already? We haven't gotten such a detailed list yet.
 

roca88

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ahumdinger

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i think you definitely have time to wait and get a good deal later. You won't need that stuff right away anyway. What do modern doctor's bags look like?

oh, and I just tried out a PanOptic this weekend...OMG it's too awesome. It's like you peer in there and the optic disc just hits you in the face. Bam! Too bad it costs an arm and a leg.
 

silas2642

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I just bought a stethoscope because that's the only thing I KNOW I'll be needing... everything else I'm just going to wait and see what the upperclassmen have to say. I got the stethoscope at allheart.com; they definitely seem to have the cheapest prices around.
 

USArmyDoc

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I was given the Welch Allen top of the line oto/optoscope. It really isn't necessary but since I got it for free I took it. :)
 

GoodmanBrown

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Guys,

I got my orientation materials and there is quite a bit of medical equipment listed:

-Oto-ophthalmoscope Diagnostic Set

Find a way to share with a friend. I bought my Welch-Allyn off Craiglist for $100 and share with a friend because we have different physical exam days.
-Stethoscope
Probably spend the most on this. You'll use it throughout your career.

-128 tuning fork
-512 tuning fork
-penlight
-reflex hammer
I went ahead and bought most of this stuff, though as people mentioned, some of it was thrown in for free with my steth.

-Sphygmomanometer
-tape measure
-disposable wooden tongue depressors
-doctor bag for your supplies
-watch
-clipboard
I wouldn't buy any of this stuff. I guess maybe a cheap Timex watch wouldn't be a bad idea. The clipboard though is a joke, as is the doctor's bag... Wooden tongue depressors are in every hospital in America.

All of these items are listed as required.

What does everyone think? Should I wait until the practice of medicine class starts and see what other classmates think? Should I try and buy it all as cheaply as possible on eBay? Should I wait and try to buy them off second, third or fourth years who advertise on bulletin boards once I get to school and classes start?

I imagine for example the stethoscope will be something I will use all the time so I will definitely buy that, but what about the others?
As Law2doc says, there will probably be a vendor or two that come and talk about the required items. You can make a better decision then.

A lot of my peers bought a cheap oto/ophtho set on Amazon for about $100. You can tell it's way cheaper than the Welch-Allyn stuff, but may be useful just for your Introduction to Patient Care class. All the hospitals I've been at have WA stuff for you to use though, so my preceptors are telling me not to bring anything but my stethoscope.

You do want a nicer steth though. Some of my classmates bought the $30 ones off Amazon and got chastised for not getting something nicer which will work better.
 

mvenus929

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Definitely buy the stethoscope.

As for the rest... I personally bought all of it. I found a decent Oto/Ophthalmoscope on e-bay for less than $100 (though, of course, it's not as fancy as the WA ones, and it doesn't have a blue light :( ), and everything else I probably got for $30 total.

Our physical exam course is often NOT in a room where they're hanging on the wall, so we had to buy just about everything. But, people who have the course on different days share supplies, and we share within our group as well (since only half of us are practicing at a given time).

Moral of the story: wait to see how things work at your school, then figure out what you need to buy.
 

NERDY

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I bought stuff (tunning forks, for example) from an upperclassman. I got a pen light and reflex hammer for free from an event at school (not drug reps).
 

Mattchiavelli

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Honestly, see if you can get in contact with MS3s/4s at your school to see how the typical site is stocked. We were "Required" to have an otoscope/opthalmoscope and a sphyg but every clinical site had these on hand already. The ONE time I wish I had an o/o-scope was doing ER at our county hospital since a lot of the ones they had on hand were broken. A clipboard or some other hard surface to write on can be helpful, because sometimes you want to write something down and can't find a suitable surface- I used a 3 ring binder b/c I liked keeping my patients' daily printouts organized like that and it was better than having 542 sheets of paper in my pocket.

Anyway most schools have reps come in to sell equipment and you can play with a few models and see what you like.

Edit- Don't get one of those tomahawk reflex hammers, they are total crap.
 

link2swim06

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Beware most vendors that visit your school are a rip off.

They charged over $100 for a blood pressure cuff.

I bought a $14 one on amazon with free shipping.

In blood pressure lab, we both measured the same blood pressure...enough said.
 

xanthomondo

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Nothing but a stethoscope

Thanks for the 5 year bump.

+1

Everything else is in the exam room already.

Thanks for the 5 month bump


At my school we were told that if we didn't purchase the diagnostic kit and have it with us for our otoscope physical diagnosis session it would be a mark on professionalism blah blah blah.

We get down there, with our own diagnostic kits, and the first thing that the doc says is "why in the world do you guys have your own?"
 

Crayola227

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Here's another 5 year bump.

1) My school wants me to buy $600 worth of stuff through their store and the deadline is approaching...should I just buy a stethoscope for now?
2) If so should I buy the Littmann Cardiology IV over the required III if I can afford the small difference?

don't. SDN search function there was a thread that talked about this in depth that is farily recent
 
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