We've talked a little bit about how an EKG is performed, but why might a doctor order one? It's possible your doctor may ask for an EKG when you're completely fine in order to have baseline data to use later on. You may need an EKG to be cleared for some types of surgery. If you've begun taking new medications or had a pacemaker implanted, the doctor may want to see how those things are affecting your heart.
Many times, though, an EKG is ordered when a patient complains of chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease, including shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness or palpitations. Oftentimes, people will ignore such symptoms because they're scared of what the doctor will say. Rather than living with the fact that your heart pounds, races or flutters, it's best to submit to the EKG and find out what's really going on.