Best to test... but what tests? The docs have used a stethoscope and that's it. HOW should they be checking my heart?
My normal GP did an ECG in his office the first time. This was abnormal, so I was referred to a cardiologist. Then the cardiologist did an ECG & it was "normal".
Some months later, I went to the ER dept of my local hospital with the same severe chest pain (dizziness etc) & this time the emergency room Dr referred me to the Cardiologist of the Heart Centre in the Hospital. He arranged for a dobutomine stress echo cardiagram. Normally with a stress echo cardiagam, they get you on an excercise bike, but I couldn't do that because of my lower back/hip pain.
So they gave me a drug through a drip in my arm & "stress" the heart artificially. They did scans (with the gel & hand scanner continuously over an hour or so) to watch the heart's movement. Apart from the excruciating pain that followed (mainly because they had me lying on my left side at a funny angle - my left shoulder is an FM pain site for me). The drug was increased in small amounts every 3 minutes to cause more & more stress on my heart.
It was very painful (for me as I have FM) & towards the end, maybe 5 minutes before they finished, I had to ask them to stop & let me roll over onto my back to take the weight off my left shoulder as the pain was excruciating. They then finished the last 5 minutes of scanning. They also scan through the right kidney area where they can see the heart action better. They really did press hard though & I found this very painful & uncomfortable. But that's just me. I've always felt pain more than normal people.
They could see that part of my heart was not working. The left mitral valve was not working properly (I can't remember the exact description). And part of the heart muscle was not working. My inner heart wall is also much, much thicker than normal. This is a sign of the heart having to work too hard & gradually the inner wall thickens over time. My continual/intermittent high blood pressure is a real problem (despite the meds).
Hopefully, now I've stopped working, I will be able to rest more, & my high BP will improve.
A couple of weeks after the dobutamine stress echo, I had a all the blood vessels around my heart scanned for blockages. This was done in the operating theatre under local anaesthetic. That put a dye through the drip in your arm. That was all clear & not only "all clear" but I have excellent blood vessels. (could be all the fish oil & fresh fish I eat?).
I was a bit concerned over this procedure (the dye) as I am sensitive to food colourings, preservatives etc. but the dye they put through my blood vessels didn't have any obvious adverse effect.
So I'm taking a daily lose dose Aspirin (duentric coated low dose aspiring 100mg). These newer aspirin are coated so they don't have an adverse effect on the stomach like the old normal aspirin.
I also take a 1/4 tablet of Beta Blocker - Atenolol. Since I'm very sensitive to drugs, the Cardiologist suggested that if I had an adverse reaction, I should stop taking it. So far, so good. Beta Blockers also help lower BP.
So, Creekfeet, I don't know what US doctors do, but I would think if you were having chest symptoms, your ordinary General Practitioner should be doing an ECG at the very least (in his consulting rooms).
Hope the above helps you.
I really don't know what doctors in the US, Canada or the UK do.