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Are stethoscopes a timeless tool or an outdated relic?

from Medical Xpress

To hear a patient's heart, doctors used to just put an ear up to a patient's chest and listen. Then, in 1816, things changed. Lore has it that 35-year-old Paris physician Rene Laennec was caring for a young woman who was apparently plump, with a bad heart and large breasts. Dr. George Davis, an obstetrician at East Tennessee State University who collects vintage stethoscopes, said the young Dr. Laennec didn't feel comfortable pressing his ear to the woman's bosom. more


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