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George Davis

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In defense of the stethoscope



Some physicians argue that in the age of ultra-sound devices and other advances that stethoscopes are outdated. But  George Davis, M.D., an obstetrician, wants to keep the stethoscope around for a while. High-tech machines and imaging scans are great backup resources, he told WHYY, but his stethoscope helps him figure out quickly and easily which patients  need additional testing.

“How much do those ultrasound machines cost?” Davis asked. “I can get a good stethoscope for less than $20. We are not going to sit there and do an echocardiogram on every patient who walks through the door.”

Dr. Davis says he’s worried that a whole new generation of doctors relies too much on technology; he wants to hold on to first-line tools that are safe, effective and cheaper.

“Shouldn’t we be using what is low-tech and practical?” he asked.

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