The ubiquitous diagnostic kit question

I’m thinking of caving to the faculty pressure (which will take the form of a “we really wish you would get one of these” speech early next month) and buying a diagnostic set, if only so I can practice on obliging friends and get to know all about their eardrums and retinas.

But I really don’t think I want to spend $300+ on the Welch-Allyn pocket set, much less put Welch-Allyn’s entire staff through med school by buying a freakin’ Panopticon. So I’m looking at the Riester and ADC diagnostic sets. Any opinions? Is it particularly useful to have multiple apertures on the opthalmoscope? Other key features? Can I get decent lens quality in a $150ish diagnostic set, or is that so awful it’s not even worth spending the money?

Any and all advice is welcome!

You definitely don’t need the panoptic. That’s WAY overkill. I actually bought mine on ebay for about $65. There was another set mentioned on a thread on SDN that someone said was pretty decent for about $80. There is one advantage to using a lesser quality set that one of our docs mentioned - if you get good at seeing things with a mediocre oto/ophthoscope, imagine what you’ll be able to see when you are using a good quality one!!

I don’t know about ADC’s oto/opthalmoscopes, but I have an ADC stethoscope that I have used for years that I really like. Some of the paramedics I worked with like it better than their more expensive Littman’s and would often use my scope.

I caved to faculty pressure last year and bought a diagnostic kit - and used it exactly twice.

Oh, I think I’m pretty immune to the siren call of the Panopticon. It just looks like a luxurious money toilet to me. There’s kind of a continuum between spending more than I need for the little use it will get and spending so little that it’s crap and I might as well have none and spend that money on a massage and a facial.

Man, I miss massages and facials.

at my school they require you to buy a set…I, too, think the WA (even with a school discount) is overpriced! I was thinking of the Ri mini kit from it is cheap…does anyone know about them? made in Germany…

We were required to spend $700 on a kit with stethoscope, BP cuff, ophthalmoscope, otoscope and some other doodads. and I still don’t hear a thing when I press my stethoscope up to people! oh well, I’m in training, and I do what I’m told without complaint. i’ll develop some opinions when I’m no longer a wet behind the ears punk of medicine.

Any other thoughts, anyone? I’m leaning towards some sort of budget option, so they can check off “brings equipment to class” on my eval form, but not getting anything too pricey.

Maybe I’ll take my own frequent advice and ask the medical librarians to help me find reviews on these diagnostic sets.