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Good and (less) expensive diagnostic equipment

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Schmetterling

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So we have to buy diagnostic sets for an upcoming class and for future use, but the Welch-Allyn brand is REALLY expensive. Are other brands like Pro-physician or Dr Mom (found these on amazon) of poorer quality, which is why you can get them for a lower price?
 

Bartelby

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What is the difference in these cheaper sets and the more expensive ones? Do the more expensive ones last longer, or show you something the cheap ones will not? I am trying to avoid buying an oto/opthalmoscope, but if I have to I would also be interested in hearing about cheap options and their drawbacks.
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm curious: do you actually have to buy a diagnostic kit or does the school just say you need one (sort of like they say you need texbooks)? If it's the latter, save yourself the money. Every clinic room you go into will have oto/ophthalmoscopes available to you.
 

mmmcdowe

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I'm curious: do you actually have to buy a diagnostic kit or does the school just say you need one (sort of like they say you need texbooks)? If it's the latter, save yourself the money. Every clinic room you go into will have oto/ophthalmoscopes available to you.

It seems to me that most docs keep one at home or in their car. Lots of them do community stuff like school check ups or sports stuff.
 

cpants

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I'm curious: do you actually have to buy a diagnostic kit or does the school just say you need one (sort of like they say you need texbooks)? If it's the latter, save yourself the money. Every clinic room you go into will have oto/ophthalmoscopes available to you.

Whether mandatory or not, it is a good thing to have for a few reasons. True, most clinic (outpatient) offices will have an oto/optho on the wall, but many, if not most, inpatient rooms do not. It can be pretty useful to you and your team if you have one in your pocket instead of trying to hunt all over the floor every time you need it. Secondly, it is pretty useful to practice at home on family, roommates, significant others to try and get the hang of it. It can be embarassing for you and uncomfortable for the patient if you don't know what you are doing with your oto/optho. Finally, it will always be nice to have some equipment at home when your kid gets an earache or you need to practice in an outside-the-clinic setting, and this equipment should last you for a very long time.
 

MilkmanAl

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All our clinic rooms just have them on the wall, so you shouldn't ever have to hunt for them. Point taken on the practicing, though. I can see that being important.
 

TMP-SMX

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So we have to buy diagnostic sets for an upcoming class and for future use, but the Welch-Allyn brand is REALLY expensive. Are other brands like Pro-physician or Dr Mom (found these on amazon) of poorer quality, which is why you can get them for a lower price?


Go to e-Bay and purchase a used set if you must purchase. Most of us were able to borrow a set from an upperclassman or buy on e-Bay much cheaper. Welch-Allyn sets are out there for far less (got a PanOptic for less than $200) than buying directly from the company (rip off). Many folks who are going into radiology, orthopedic surgery, pathology and other specialties that will never use these sets and want to unload them.

Welch-Allyn is the standard and thus parts, replacement batteries and other supplies for these kits are easier to find. One of my colleagues bought from another company and waited 3 months for disposable ear specula.
 

BoxingTheStars

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http://www.amazon.com/ADC-Otoscope-..._bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1228676312&sr=8-1

I bought this one from amazon after our school basically threatened to lower our grades if we didn't have our own equipment to practice with during class (No way i was spending $500+ on the welch-allyn ones they recommended). It came in a case, works on a couple C batteries, and seems fine for all intended purposes. And I did actually find it really helpful to practice with- if you've never used one before, it's pretty awkward to hold it the proper way and it took me a lot of tries to get comfortable with it. So yeah- worth the $120, in my opinion.
 

dogpython

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another vote for ebay and welch allyn pocket scopes...look around and you will find them new from $100-150...if you are absolutely against ebay, then allheart.com typically has some of the cheapest retail prices...
 

BlackBantie

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http://www.otoscopes.us/diagnostic_kits.htm

$87

I got mine there and it works just fine.

Our course director told us that it was a requirement that we go out and buy a diagnostic set as we would be needing them when we see standardized patients. It seems like they had forgotten that all of the examining rooms in the school already have otoscopes and ophthalmascopes. I'm glad I didn't waste a whole lot of dough on mine. I wonder how upset all of the people are who purchased those $500+ Welch-Allyn sets. :rolleyes:
 

Anotherday

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I purchased the Riester brand, made in Germany. Very Affordable only manufacturer to offer LED light. You can select either AA handle or Plug-in handle. The rep said that the LED light will last longer than standard halogen bulbs and lithium battery will last longer. 2 yr warranty. I am very pleased with the set. Riester also makes a pocket set, ri-mini, for around $250.00. I bought the LED set.
www.quickmedical.com
 

SouthernSurgeon

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My reason for buying a diagnostic kit: (feel free to call me crazy)

Every year, the students at our school have this debate. We are "expected" to have an oto/ophtho kit for our physical diagnosis class, and for our neuro clerkship. In addition, we have a couple of old school medicine preceptors who insist you have it for the medicine clerkship (if you are assigned to them).

What we always hear from upperclassmen is - oh you won't really need one, and if you do, just borrow it from one of your friends.

My problem with this is, I'm basically saying to my friends "I don't want to pay $500, but I think you should, and then you should let me borrow it whenever I need to." That's kind of inconsiderate, IMO.

So I bought mine. I used it 8-10 times for physical diagnosis. It gathered a bunch of dust. Then during 3rd year, every once in a while we'd get some random complaint about ear and/or eye problems and need to take a look. At our hospital at least, finding a scope on the inpatient side is next to impossible. So I started carrying my diagnostic kit in my bag - no, it doesn't get used often, but my interns have really appreciated that I can dig up a scope for them and save them the effort of doing it themselves.

And, in the meantime, I've had three friends (who didn't think it was worth the money last year) ask if they could borrow my set for 5 weeks for their neuro rotation. I told them (nicely) no way.
 
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