The basic ability of physicians to recognize common heart murmurs with their stethoscope is only fair at best. Studies have found out, that the average rate of correct heart sound identification in physicians is 40 percent. An alarming fact, especially for the patients, who rely on the opinion of their physician.
After demonstrating that his students greatly improved their stethoscope skills by the “IPod method”, Michael Barret, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine and cardiologist at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital repeated his test with 149 general internists who also listened 400 times to five common heart murmurs including aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation and innocent systolic murmur. The surprising result: The identification rate was 80 percent. This experiment shows once again that easy and cheap tool sometimes have the greatest effect.
More Information and Heart-sound downloads visit: http://www.temple.edu/temple_times/march07/DociPod.html
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