Questions to ask before buying a stethoscope

blog Stethoscopes

What’s my budget?

This is a good place to start.  Stethoscopes can cost anything from a few pounds up into the hundreds.  Decide your price point and the decision becomes a lot easier.

If you’re looking for something basic or are prone to losing your stethoscope on a weekly basis, Amazon sell stethoscopes rock-bottom prices, as well as more high-end products.  In our experience, it’s worth spending extra on a stethoscope if you will be using it regularly, and if you can afford it.

Here are a few examples, so you can see what you get for your cash at different price points:

What do I need a stethoscope for?

For most doctors, the answer to this question is straightforward: buy as good an all-round stethoscope as your budget permits.  Be sure that you’re confident with the model you buy.

If you’re a paediatrician, consider whether you might need a paediatric stethoscope.  These come with small-sized diaphragm and bell, making them ideal for your smallest patients.

Likewise if you’re a cardiologist, consider whether it might be worth your while investing in a cardiology or digital stethoscope.

Do I need to try before I buy?

If not, consider buying online to bag a better deal, and keep your eyes peeled for special offers on sites like Amazon.

Which brand do I like best?

Again, this is about what works best for you.  If you like , go for an MDF.  If you like , go for a Littmann.  It’s worth trying a few different stethoscopes and asking your colleagues if you’re not sure – especially any friendly cardiologists you find in the mess.

What colour should I go for?

This seems like a minor point, but the colour of your stethoscope can say a lot about you.  Would you prefer a more traditional colour like black, grey or navy, or would you like to go for something a bit brighter?  Does your job involve breaking lots of bad news, or trying to cheer up children?  Here are a few we liked:

What do you think about when buying a stethoscope?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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