My most useful surgery instrumentBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7440.630 (Published 11 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:630
- Paul Vincent, general practitioner and trainer
- Birtley Medical Centre, County Durham
What could it be that really makes a difference among the clutter of my room? Perhaps the clichéd badge of medical authority, the stethoscope? No, on reflection, I think not: “Mr chesty cough aged more than 60” will receive an antibiotic whatever I hear, and little “Miss croupy cough but well” will not, even if I do hear the odd crackle on a lung base. Perhaps it is the sphygmomanometer: think of all those strokes saved by judicious use of bendrofluazide. Yet again, perhaps not: “Mr ischaemic heart diseases on three antihypertensives at full dose” will have high blood pressure whatever I throw at his cardiovascular system. Perhaps then, …
Log in using your username and password
Log in through your institution
Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial