Stethoscope use 'sloppy' among younger doctors

Many younger doctors listen to patients' heart and breath sounds through clothing, even though they acknowledge this impairs the quality of auscultation, a Scottish study reveals.

A desire to preserve patient privacy and dignity is being cited to explain why 60% of doctors sometimes listen to patients' heart sounds and 76% to patients' breath sounds through hospital gowns or clothing.

Trainee doctors were three times more likely than consultants to auscultate heart sounds through clothing and four times