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Help! Need advice on choosing a stethoscope and opthalmoscope

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Smoke This, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!
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    Our physical diagnosis class starts about a month from now. My school had a vendor "fair" recently to show us a (limited) selection of stethoscopes and opthalmoscopes. What we basically have to choose from are Cardiology III and Master Cardiology, Tycos-Harvey DLX or whatever the god model is, and their crappier stethoscope that I can't remember the name of right now. For opthalmoscopes, we got a high-pressure sales pitch for the Welch-Allyn PanOptic over the traditional opthalmoscope.

    Assuming I have to choose a stethoscope and an opthalmoscope/otoscope from this selection, what should I do? Does anyone have any advice they can share on one or both of these categories? Thanks.
     
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  3. kidmel45

    kidmel45 Member
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    cardiology III seemed to be the pref at my school. so far i like it, not that i'm the best at using it yet :) the only prob i have with it is the tube is kinda "sticky" and it has been pulling out my hair when i hang it around my neck! the welch-allyn pan optic was said to be the cadillac of the opthalmascopes, something we don't need now, but it's great to learn on. no clinics or docs office have them yet around here, so we'll have to carry it with us if we want to use it. our 2nd years said that some of them who bought that model seemed to regret it later. i think the regular is fine (and so did our head doc) you just have to practice on it a lot. we can always upgrade later when you have the money (or when you really know what you should be seeing:) some students here have bought one for 4-5 people to save $$

    good luck picking out your new toys!
     
  4. warpath

    warpath Officer Cadet
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    Do you go to Wash U? 'Cause we had that same equipment fair here yesterday and today. I think I'm getting the panoptic, and the Cardiology III.


     
  5. Don't forget to get one of those hip holsters for your stethoscope, so you look cool/stupid.
     
  6. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    Anyone know any good websites where you can buy used equipment (besides eBay)?
     
  7. energy_girl

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    What you get depends on several things: how much you will be using it, how much money you have, and what your school recommends. Lots of people in my class had stethoscopes given to them by their parents or friends as graduation gifts, and those serve the purpose of physical exams just fine. They'd probably be fine 3rd and 4th year too. If you're buying anyway, though, I'd recommend the Cardiology III. Physicians I've talked to said that they've had theirs for decades.

    As for the panoptic, I strongly recommend it. I wanted to save money last year, and opted not to get it. That was a mistake, as I think the trend is definitely switching towards panoptic now. It is far superior to the traditional one, and definitely worth the extra cost.

    The final factor: listen to what your school recommends. For those of you at Wash U, read the Dis-O guide. Seriously. There is a very good and comprehesive article in there about equipment sales. The guy who wrote it did months of extensive research about buying equipment.

    Here's another website you can order from:

    http://www.steeles.com/amsa/
     
  8. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    Littmann stethoscopes are natural rubber free, which although not that common, will help when you encounter patients who are sensitive or allergic to latex/rubber. As more people are developing allergies (including lots of health care workers, switching to low protein content gloves now may save your career later) it may be useful.

    okay, that was a tangent...
     
  9. KyGrlDr2B

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    I have heard the Littman cardio 3 is great and easy to learn with (especially when compared to master cardio). As far as the panoptic vs regular, I have no idea what way to go on this one. It seems to be split 50/50 as to what to get. I have the money to get the panoptic one, but I don't want to get one if its a waste. Such a dilemma....
     
  10. KU Brendan

    KU Brendan FM/EM Attending, PC Gamer
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    I personally use the Cardiology III and think it's a good one for med school since you can technically listen to both adults and kids with it. They have those cool digital ones out there that amplify the sound better, so if I had some extra money, who knows... :)

    As for the Pan-Optic vs. regular scope...I bought a regular one during first or second year and really haven't had to use it except for in outpatient peds last year; however, I looked through a Pan-Optic one and was instantly hooked. It is incredible how much you can see through one of those--I don't know many physicians who have been out for a long time even who are really good at looking in eyes. The thing makes it so easy to see, that with one look, I knew what a good thing it was. The upgrade is like $195 right now, and I do plan to do it. So if you've got the money and plan to buy one or the other, I would definitely go for it. But I'd also decide if you really think you need one--I could have certainly made it to this point without buying it...but it's kind of nice to have.

    --Brendan--
    <"}}}}}><
     
  11. Dodge This

    Dodge This Senior Member
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    Littman Cardio III is *the* stethescope of choice for students at my school. Cardio IISE will do fine as well since the only difference between the two is a tunable pediatric diaphragm. Plus, you probably don't want to get a fancy steth now when you don't know how to use it--there's just no point.

    As for the opthalmoscope. I have a conventional Welch-Allyn scope. It's not nearly as hard to see things as everyone is making it sound. Just learn how to use it correctly and you'll be fine. I don't think the pan-optic it's worth the $$$ and haven't seen any evidence that the trend is moving towards them. Plus, unless you want to carry it around everywhere with you, you'll have to learn how to use a conventional ophthalmoscope anyway.

    Irregardless of all of this, I'm sure your bookstore will have more options for you to choose from than the Welch-Allyn reps will bring with them. Hopefully, your school has a student discount too.
     
  12. docuw

    docuw Senior Member
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    Unless you are going to be an opthomologist, dont bother wasting money on an oto/opthamlo... no one needs one outside of a clical setting, where they are readily available.
     
  13. Dodge This

    Dodge This Senior Member
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    This is true too... Just remember that they don't always have them available in all clinical settings, so you'll have to arrange to borrow one if needed.

    Good thead on the pan-optic & fundoscopy in general:

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44662
     
  14. GCS:3

    GCS:3 Allegheny grad
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    I got the Harvey DLX model as a gift. It's a nice stethoscope, and I get asked about it a lot because it isn't a Cardio III. After comparing the 2, I think that mine is higher quality build-wise, but has shorter tubing. Overall they sound almost identical, with the DLX being a bit louder (due to the shorter cord, perhaps).

    The panoptic IS overkill. I still stick to my theory from the other thread, in that fundoscopy isn't used so much anymore. True, you need to do one before LP (Although in many cases you'll already have a head CT). I have yet to see an internist do one in clinic for non-teaching purposes (ie. to assess for level of end-organ damage.)
     
  15. fabs82

    fabs82 Junior Member

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    even if you are going to be an optho, the panooptic isnt good enough. youll use one of thse permanantly-secured-to-a-table jobbies that can basically see your brain. besides, not a single exam room in clinic has the panoptic and you dont want to be carrying that around with you
     
  16. 4 Ever

    4 Ever Senior Member
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    cardio III gets my vote

    as for the opth., the panoptic is okay IMO - it just seems a little overrated right now. No clinics that I have went to even carry it so its more of a pain to carry that big attachment around everywhere you go.
     
  17. fourthyearmed

    fourthyearmed Senior Member
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    Definitely get a Littman Cardiology III. During first year I just bought the stethoscope the salesman showed us all (I think welch-allyn or tycos) and I couldn't hear anything. I ended up buying a littman at end of 3rd year after I borrowed an attending's and saw how much better it was. So buy a good one now, it's worth spending the extra money because it's cheaper than buying another one! As for the opthalmoscope, a couple of people in my class bought the panoptic but I didn't. Seeing as my opthalmoscope hasn't left my bag since physical diagnosis class because they are available in all the hospitals and clinics and take up too much room in my pocket, I don't think you should waste the money on a panoptic unless you plan on going into opthalmology.
     

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