AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160
Cochlear Complete Hearing Solution - September 2019

Reflections on the Au.D.

Reflections on the Au.D.
May 5, 2000

As I sit here, reviewing the past 18 months, I feel rather melancholy. Approximately 18 months ago I registered for the University of Florida Au.D. Distance Learning program. My business partner thought I was crazy. We already had the earned entitlement from AFA -- but we couldn't use it.

We are in private practice. The Au.D. won't change our income or the continuous fight to make audiology a recognized profession for the majority of insurance companies. Yet, that is precisely why I had to do it, as well as being a masochist!

After all, if we don't do something for ourselves to give ourselves status, why should we expect others to do it for us? Family and friends, as well as many colleagues told me I was crazy. I have a one and a half hour commute each way. I work full-time at my private practice and have three children who were all 6, 7, and 8 when the program began. As in everyone's life, little crises continually arose, including my mother developing cancer. But I made it.

The first day of our Boca site meeting was very interesting. I actually felt fortunate as I knew at least half the students in my group. Boy, were we shellshocked when Dr. Bob Fifer began early in the morning and didn't stop our electrophysiology class till 5 (except for lunch). By that time our heads were spinning. Most of us oldtimers (which comprised at least half our group) were not sure we could make it after all this time out of school.

Eighteen months later, with graduation around the corner, we are all very excited and yet a little sad to be parting ways. This has been an incredible growth experience, not only professionally but personally as well. Much of the information I had acquired prior to the Au.D program on topics such as cochlear implants, electrophysiology and even hearing aids was very outdated, despite all the continuing education I constantly attend.

My fellow students and I went through a major attitude change. We thought we knew so much, but so much of what we learned (the first time around) has changed. We are now better counselors, teachers, clinicians and audiologists and professionals.

The friendships we have made, the support we gave each other, the comraderie we felt and shared, these are the most special attainments of all. Those of us who have been through this program have not only made lifelong professional and personal associations but we now realize even more than before how special our families are. For those of us who are married with children, well, without the continuing support of our spouses and forbearance of our ''neglected'' children, this never would have been possible.

Sometimes my husband would awaken and say to me ''Who are you''? When the children heard my last final was over, they cheered and said: ''Goody, now you can pay more attention to us''! (that one kind of hurt).

And now, sitting here and typing this, knowing that there will be no more quizzes, no more finals, no more massive class projects, it all seems unreal.

Maybe we have all forgotten what it was like to finish our bachelors or masters degree and be nervous about going out into the world. And why should that be now?

We are all working professionals and do not need to feel trepidation about obtaining that first job. Yet the feeling is the same. It is the same emptiness. But maybe that's good. It is a sign of going on to better things. With all this free time, our new doctors can spend some fighting for the recognition we deserve with insurance companies. We can fight for universal newborn screening and appropriate management of the identified children in every state. We can fight for the profession to continue to evolve into a doctoring profession, and we can fight for autonomy!

For those of you waiting to see how the ''Au.D. Movement'' will go, I want to urge you to ''just do it!'' I am extremely glad I did.

I think we all understand the feeling that after so many years in clinical practice, well, how much more can there be to learn? After over 20 years and a myriad of CEU certificates, it was humbling to see how much I still had to learn.

Believe me, there is much to learn -- and it is worth it. I cannot think of a single classmate who regrets this move. Obtaining your doctorate is not easy, but then, no worthwhile attainment ever is.

anniversary sweepstakes | 20 winners | Each course you take this month = 1 chance to win a FREE 1-year membership! |

Related Courses

Audiology and the New Diagnostic Service Manual 5 (DSM 5) - How It Impacts Audiology Clinic, Research, Interaction with Other Professionals and Beyond
Presented by Lindsey E. Jorgensen, AuD, PhD, Jessica Messersmith, PhD, Marni Johnson Martin, AuD
Recorded Webinar
Course: #235051 Hour
This presentation will discuss the DSM-5 and its implications on the provision of audiology services. It will be useful for audiologists and anyone working within the audiology profession to understand how these changes may impact the services they provide in the clinic.

Infection Control: Why Audiologists Need to Care
Presented by A.U. Bankaitis, PhD, FAAA
Recorded Webinar
Course: #238081 Hour
The purpose of this course is to define infection control and outline a clear rationale as to why it must be integrated into an audiology or hearing care practice. The presentation will also focus on initial preparation for implementation of an infection control plan. The next course in this 2-part series is Infection Control: What to Do and How to Do It, that you can find in the AudiologyOnline course library.

Infection Control: What to Do and How to Do It
Presented by A.U. Bankaitis, PhD, FAAA
Recorded Webinar
Course: #238091 Hour
The purpose of this course is to outline the components of a written infection control plan for an audiology or hearing care practice. This course is designed to provide an overview of considerations in choosing appropriate infection control products, and implementing effective infection control products to ensure compliance with standards. This course is part of a 2-part series. You can find the first course, Infection Control: Why Audiologists Need to Care in the AudiologyOnline course library as a live webinar on 5/2/14. Both courses will also be recorded for on-demand viewing.

Audiology Student Supervision and Precepting
Presented by Virginia Ramachandran, AuD, PhD
Recorded Webinar
Course: #246361 Hour
This presentation will focus on issues and challenges commonly faced by clinical preceptors. Tools and techniques will be presented to assist clinical instructors with assessment and the provision of feedback.

20Q: Forensic Audiology - Putting on Your Investigator's Hat
Presented by Tom Thunder, AuD, FAAA, INCE
Course: #252791 Hour
This text course provides an overview of the role of the audiologist as an expert witness, with examples from actual court cases. This article is written in an engaging Q & A format.