Interesting question, trucker. I think it's only half true that medical professionals have stopped using tongue depressors. Just a few years back, an ENT specialist, Dr Kane, at Melbourne's so-called Eye & Ear Hospital gave me a thorough inspection. He had a head-mirror (and lamp), a long-stemmed mirror - and a lethal-looking curved metal tongue depressor which he wasn't backward in using! On the other hand, I haven't had any wooden tongue depressors used on me lately. A couple of doctors have just taken a quick peek inside my mouth - probably to check general health (but note: a deviated uvula can indicate certain problems, such as a stroke) - while I'd suggest that blood tests have become the favoured method of checking a patient's general well-being these days.
I was pleased to see that seanpdineen99 is another person here who has a passion for tongue depressors! I did an unofficial quick check a few weeks back of Zity members and found just three or four who were prepared to say that the tongue depressor is their favourite instrument during a medical exam! (Any others out there?!)
For some pics, see my 'Mouths and related stuff' Album!