Need advice on new aids

HearWHAC HearWHAC at
Sat Jan 13 15:21:29 EST 1996

In article <4d75ek$89 at>, Loren.Randolph at 
>You bring up a point that, while perhaps not a continuation of the
>original thread, is important, in my opinion.
>For too many years we have seen a dichotomy between the "good guys"
>(audiologists) and the "bad guys" (dealers). I agree that there have
>been problems,  are problems, and probably will be problems from
>differences in pricing, fitting philosophies, etc. between the groups.

Loren, your post is a breath of fresh air. Thanks.

>But we must all bear in mind that the times are changing. The older
>dealers are at retirement age, and licensure changes are responsible
>for the growth of audiologist-dispensers.

Hopefully that "big retirement day" for this old timer will come this year. 
And our fifty-year old firm will be left to three excellent 
"audiologist-dispensers" who have worked WITH me (we don't refer to that as 
working "for" me) for a number of years. "...times are changing."

You said it:
>Before too long, the "bad
>guys" are going to come from the audiologist group.  I have been a
>dispensing audiologist for probably too long now, and I have seen some
>really bad audiologists out there, and some really good
>non-audiologist dealers.

Twenty years ago I used to jokingly tell my audiologist friends that some 
day we "are going to exchange one group of crooks (hearing aid dealers) for 
another group of crooks (audiologist-dispensers)." Think it through. Both 
are "human beings!" I believe that is where the basic problem originates! 

>You have a good point- if the dispenser, be it audiologist or just
>plain "dealer" has been around for a while, it probably indicates that
>they are doing at least an adequate job. Just because we have a fancy
>title with a bunch of letters, doesn't mean we automatically merit
>referrals. I know that I personally learned "real-life" hearing aids
>from a dispenser, not from an audiologist. 

The sun rises and the sun sets. Nothing is new! Same old stuff just in a new 
package! We've been through this before! I believe the universities should 
concentrate on:
    1) Improving quality! (You can't do it with a masters program that has 
only twenty students and four faculty members in it.)
    2) Reducing quantity! (Five or ten OUTSTANDING audiology programs in the 
United States could easily produce all the audiologist-dispensers needed! 
Only 15 or so universities in the US turn out all the optometrists needed, 
and there should be 10 optometrists for every one audiologist out there. 
Almost everyone wears eyelasses, but only 8 hearing aids per thousand 
population are dispensed each year in the US!)

The greatest concern I have after observing the hearing aid industry for 
fifty years is our university hearing aid dispensing programs.

My second greatest concern is seeing persons who know very little about 
hearing aids, i.e., ENT doctors, have the financial ownership of hearing aid 
stores. (In France, only 3 hearing aids per 1,000 population are dispensed 
each year. In France you have to see a physician before getting a hearing 
aid. At the Hamburg Conference in October, one French dispenser reported 
they did a survey and discovered that 90% of the doctors in France do not 
believe in hearing aids. No wonder so few hearing aids get dispensed in 

My third greatest concern is see so few genuinely talented 
audiologists-dispensers coming into private practice. Optometry is a 
"profession." Audiology should become a "profession." The hearing impaired 
deserve nothing less. So many audiology graduates are just audiometer button 

The hearing impaired deserve better! 

Paul :-)
What was it Richard Nixon said, "You aren't going to have me to push around 
anymore"? But he came back after that. Do you suppose I might come back 
after I retire? Let's hope not! The younger generation will do just fine. 
Just dress up a few university audiology programs, get rid of the rest, and 
the younger generation will do even better! ;-)

More information about the Audiolog mailing list