When you were a child did you ever wonder what a doctor was doing when they listened to your chest and back with a stethoscope? Auscultation is a medical term for listening to the heart, lungs, and other body sounds with a stethoscope as part of diagnosing illness. Listening to the heart allows a doctor to evaluate the sounds made by the heart's valves, just like listening to the lungs allows the doctor to judge whether the lungs are clear or congested. Also, from time to time, a doctor may use the stethoscope to evaluate the sounds made by the intestines to judge whether they are operating normally.

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