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Q: Why does my doctor listen with a stethoscope in several areas on my chest, back, and stomach?
A: Stethoscopes are used to hear sounds generated in the body and generally are used to listen to the heart, lungs, and intestinal tract. They’re also used to listen to blood flow through an artery while measuring blood pressure. Abnormal sounds may indicate an area of concern that your doctor will discuss with you.
Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., is director of nuclear cardiology and associate professor of clinical medicine at New York University. She’s also a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.