Sometimes (3-6 times a day not everyday), I notice that my heart skips a beat. I told my physician about this and had an EKG done and it came back fine. Had chest X-rays and all came back clean. My ...
my understanding is that the doctor can tell you if your heart is still beating
They should be able to tell if your heart is beating correctly and how fast it is beating with the stethoscope. They should definitely be able to tell if you need an EKG by listening.
They listen for the rythm and for any murmurs. There are normal heart sounds they listen for and if something does not sound right the next step is usually an EKG which shows how the hearts valves are firing or pumping out.
They can hear the rhythm of your heart, and in that case, if it sounded uneven they might want to see the waveforms on an EKG.
More importantly, they can hear the valves closing, and from that sound they can tell if there are problems such as valve prolapse or leaky valves. The sound should have an abrupt "thump" sound. If it has a 'brrrrr" sound, that indicates blood if flowing backwards through an imperfectly closed valve. That sound, BTW, is commonly called a "murmur".