Med Tech

What Tools Do Doctors Use?

Tools used to offer medical aid to patients

Doctors use an assortment of tools and equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions. And much like the medical practice itself, these tools that doctors use have also changed over the last few years. For instance, we have done away with the practice of drilling holes in the skull and moved on to microscopic probes that can capture high-definition images! 

All these doctor tools have a specific name and serve a dedicated purpose. So, if you are curious about the various tools doctors use, then you have come to the right place! Here is a list of all the tools that doctors use:

Category of Tools Doctor Use

Before diving into the doctor tool names and uses, let’s first examine what kind of tools do doctors use. Medical equipment can be broadly classified into the following categories:

  • Diagnostic Tools for diagnosing a patient’s condition and evaluate their health.
  • Durable Medical Equipment to offer therapeutic benefits to treat illnesses.
  • Treatment Tools for curing a specific condition or restore the function of an organ.
  • Life Support Equipment to support and monitor critical bodily functions.
  • Medical Laboratory Tools for advanced diagnostics and medical care.

What Tools do Doctors Use?

Verified doctors make use of the following tools to offer medical aid to their patients:




The stethoscope is the ultimate symbol of medical care. It consists of two earpieces connected to a diaphragm through flexible tubing. It amplifies low sounds and is often used for listening to sounds, such as the heartbeat, in the individual’s chest cavity.


A sphygmomanometer or the blood pressure monitor measures the pressure of the blood pumping through the arteries. The traditional blood pressure monitors have an inflatable cuff connected to the mercury column through flexible tubing. On the other hand, the digital version replaces the mercury column with a 7-segment display.

The doctor wraps the cuff around the patient’s upper arm and inflates it to constrict the arteries. When the cuff is completely inflated, the doctor will place a stethoscope on the crook of the arm, over the brachial artery, and release the air gradually. The first sound corresponds to systolic pressure, and when the sound subsides, the corresponding reading is the diastolic blood pressure.


The thermometer is one of the most standard tools that doctors use to measure body temperature. Oral and rectal thermometers typically contain mercury encased in a sealed glass tube. The rise in temperature leads to the expansion of mercury through the capillary, which causes a peak in the reading. On the other hand, shaking the thermometer brings mercury to a normal position. 

Besides oral and rectal thermometers, you will also find digital thermometers (oral/rectal and contact-less), ear thermometer, and basal thermometers.


The humble penlight is an understated yet most useful tools doctor use second to the stethoscope. It helps with superficial neural examinations through pupil size and reaction. Additionally, it offers greater visibility while observing wounds, nicks and cuts, rashes, and even sore throats.




Scalpels are also known as medical blades, bistouries, and lancets. These are extremely sharp bladed tools that doctors use, mostly in surgical settings. They come in various shapes, sizes, and types to offer absolute control while making precise cuts and incisions. The size of the blade is denoted by a number, while the shapes may have a specific design for particular needs. You will even come across single-use or reusable blades, with the former having a detachable blade.


The otoscope is a common device for examining the ear. The ear speculum, a cone-shaped attachment at one end of the otoscope, allows the doctor to view through the ear canal and look for any traces of blood or infection. Additionally, it also helps in detecting excessive wax buildup. Pneumatic otoscopes emit a tiny puff of air into the air to test the eardrum vibration.

Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a small, compact device that helps measure the oxygen saturation levels in the blood. With a clip-like build, the device finds it easy to latch onto your finger, toes, and earlobes. It quantifies how well your heart pumps oxygen throughout your body and picks up on the slightest of changes. While it is common in intensive and critical care units, doctors may even use it for monitoring vitals for those with chronic disorders such as lung cancer, asthma, COPD, etc.


A doctor uses the ophthalmoscope to observe and examine parts of the eye, such as the lens, optic nerve, and retina. Common ophthalmoscopes have a concave mirror paired with battery-powered light in the handle. Using the ophthalmoscope like a monocle, the doctor can peer through the eyepiece and into the patient’s eye. The rotatory disc offers a multi-angle view of the eye at different depths and magnification.

Syringe and Hypodermic Needles

There are only a few brave individuals who do not dread or fear the infamous “injection.”

A hypodermic needle is a hollow needle paired with a cylindrical reciprocating pump fitted with a sliding plunger. The syringe makes use of pressure to inject or withdraw fluid from the body. Historically, syringes and needles were manufactured using metal and glass and had to be sterilized before every use. However, we now use disposable syringe and needles that are primarily made from plastic.

Electrocardiograph Machine

ECG or EKG machines record the electrical signals of the heart. It follows a non-invasive, pain-free process to monitor heart health and detect potential issues. Depending on the setup, doctors may own a portable model or a fully equipped device to capture abnormal heartbeat rhythm, blocked or narrow arteries, instances of heart attacks, and performance of devices, like the pacemaker.

Final Thoughts

With this post, we hope to have answered your question, “What tools do doctors use?”

You may have noticed that tools, such as stethoscope and penlights, are extremely basic, while equipment like ECG machines or ophthalmoscope may require specialization.

Eventually, it is all about putting together a diverse and skilled team of healthcare providers to meet all patient requirements. Hence, you may have to go through the doctor’s job search network to locate talent that can make effective use of the abovementioned tools.

After all, it is the hands that add value to any tool!

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