Cardiac troponin I and T are the preferred biomarkers for assessing myocardial injury, and the timing of troponin testing is fundamental to its clinical utility. There are arguments for and against the use of troponin testing in the community, and the stance that general practitioners should never order a troponin test can be considered an oversimplifi cation. GPs have a generally suffi cient understanding of the test for use in primary care, and have a better understanding of false-negative troponin test results than falsepositive results. We suggest that hospitalisation, rather than troponin testing, should be the default option for patients with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome. A single troponin test is reasonable in primary care to exclude the possibility of acute myocardial infarction in asymptomatic low-risk patients whose symptoms resolved at least 12 hours prior. GPs should factor in the complex logistics of troponin testing in the community before ordering a troponin test: results need to be accurate and timely, and might be obtained at a time of day when it is diffi cult to contact the doctor or the patient.