Thursday, March 27, 2008

Listen to me...

Electronic Stethoscope
Every now and again I see someone who is interested in buying an electronic stethoscope. I think it's great for people with hearing impediments. But I think it should stop there. If you keep going, then what is the difference between a stethoscope and a portable ultrasound or echo machine?

Patient: "Hi, I'm booked for a Stethoscopy?"

Receptionist: "Yes, Mr Patient. Please take a seat. The Cardiologist will be with you soon."

...

Cardiologist: "Hi, Mr Patient. Please come in, and remove your shirt. Today we'll be doing an auscultation."

Patient: "That's a fancy piece of equipment there, doctor."

Cardiologist: "Yes, it's worth a fortune and has revolutionised how we charge, um, I mean, examine patients these days."

... Cardiologist performs auscultation and 45 minutes later ...

Cardiologist: "Thanks Mr Patient, that's the end of the auscultatory investigation. We'll analyse your heart sounds on the computer this evening and send the report to your GP."

Receptionist: "That will be $150 Mr Patient. Please sign this form and Medicare will reimburse you... um, nothing."

Cardiologist (in his office): "Mwaa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Just to think that would take 2 minutes with a regular stethoscope and I'd be making nothing on it! God thank the genius who turned auscultation into a separate complex investigation! Mwaa ha ha ha ha ha!"

1 comment:

Milk & Two Sugars said...

Snigger. Were this to become standard practice, can you imagine the conversations of older physicians, in decades to come: "When we trained everyone knew how to interpret heart sounds right there at the patient's bedside..." God and reason forbid.