What They Didn't Tell Me In Grad School (formerly " Are Audiologists Generous?" )

Jeffrey Sirianni audioman at HCTC.NET
Tue Aug 19 02:08:16 EST 1997

At 10:44 PM 8/17/97 -0500, HearWHAC <hearwhac at netins.net> wrote:

>4) The students graduating from our university audiology programs today
>are absolutely unsuited for the real world! Is there a solution? Yes, I
>believe the problem could be solved:

I partly agree with you Paul.  While some of the "old school" programs
fail to prepare students in the "business" of audiology, many of the
"new school" programs do teach students about the "business" of audiology.

>A) Get rid of 200 graduate audiology programs! A very, very large
>segment of the population has vision impairments that must be treated
>regularly by a medical specialist. (I see my Opthalmologist every year.)
>There are only a few Opthalmology programs in the US. A very, very tiny
>segment of the population has hearing loss. (I believe that only 8
>hearing aids are sold in the US each year for every 1,000 persons. This
>is one of the highest and best figures of any country in the world.) We
>have hundreds of audiology programs, none of which are any good! (Story:
>I went to a graduate school in another profession that had only 90
>students in its three year program. I took summer courses at another
>graduate school that had more than 300 students. There was no comparison
>between the two schools. A graduate school with only 90 students cannot
>have as many excellent faculty members as a graduate school with 300

I agree with you here.  But I guess my initial thought is how to provide
students with enough on and/or off-site practicum at a very large program.

How do these large optometry programs provide hands-on training to the
large number of students in their programs?  I just don't know if there
is enough people in a community needing audiological services to sustain
a large audiology program, unless you are talking about setting up programs
in NYC, LA, SF, Houston, Chicago, ect...

But I do agree that there is too many programs, too many different
philosophies, and too many graduates.


>B) You were not taught this in graduate school, but hearing aid dealers
>are pretty good people. I contend that if you ever have a car break down
>in a strange community in the middle of the night and you need help,
>look in the "Yellow Pages" under hearing aids and call any of the
>dealers and you will find they will help you. 

>Get rid of this paradigm!

I think there is a pretty wide continum when it comes to hearing aid
dealers.  On one end are the honest folks like you who really care
about the services and products dispensed to the public.  On the other
end is the classic slimeballs who prey on the vulnerability of senior
citizens and parents of children with hearing loss.

While Beltone and Miracle Ear try to show a professional face at their
booths at professional meetings, it is rumored that their sales seminars
are bottom line focused.  In other words, instead of teaching their people
how to dispense new technolgies, they are taught how to sell, period.

Can you offer any insight into this rumor?

>WOW! I believe this may be a new record for bionet.audiology. I sure
>hope Jeff doesn't set up a new rule that Paul can't post more than 25
>words at a time in the future. <g>

I was nearly compelled to comment on each of your points, but there is
only 24 hours in a day, so I commented on the ones that I felt most
comfortable with.

Oh, there will never be a line max in bionet.audiology.  I do commend
you for standing up and speaking out.  Thank you for taking the time to
send in your thoughts.

>Oh yes, something else my Father said many times was "Our job is to help
>the hearing impaired and to try to get along with the rest"

I have a similar motto when it comes to dealing with hearing impaired
children: "Kids first, bullshit second." (Pardon my french).


* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A                      *
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