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The Stethoscope May Have Reached Retirement Age

Photo caption: A stethoscope is pictured, June 17, 2009.

Photo credit: Lidor / Flickr

A stethoscope is pictured, June 17, 2009.

The Stethoscope May Have Reached Retirement Age

GUEST:

Eric Topol, MD, cardiologist and director, Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla

Transcript

The year 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the invention of one of medicine's most iconic instruments: the stethoscope.

And while it's still in use worldwide, a new article in the journal Lancet argues it might be time for the stethoscope to take retirement.

The co-author of the article is Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla. Topol said pocket-sized ultrasound devices can give doctors a lot more information than the stethoscope provides.

Topol said hand-held devices can actually increase the bond between doctor and patient, allowing for instant sharing of the ultrasound image and the inclusion of the patient in their own diagnostic process.

Thursday on Midday Edition, Topol talks about using a handheld ultrasound device in his practice and how he thinks it's high time for other physicians to do the same.

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