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Why I Chose to Earn a Doctorate Degree in Audiology

Growing up when people ask children what they hope to be when they are older most kids would not be able to pronounce audiologist let alone proclaim it as their future profession. However, I believe audiology is a great path to take and one that I want to advocate for from my experience as a third-year graduate student. In my opinion, many individuals that imagine themselves in education, counseling, science, technology, or healthcare related fields could have a rewarding experience as an audiologist. I know that my personality works well with the problem-solving, patient-facing environment of the clinic.

Although geriatric hearing aids are the headliners for what we do as audiologists there is a surprising amount a variety in our scope of practice across the lifespan. Certified audiologists can be involved with dizziness treatment, tinnitus assessment, cochlear implants, aural rehabilitation, interoperative monitoring, product development. There are even opportunities to get a dual degree in clinical audiology and in hearing science research. I am currently working towards an AuD-PhD that will hopefully open doors to not only serve clients clinically, but also explore the whys and how’s of patterns that we observe in patients, come up with alternative methods and devices for improved assistance, and even mentor aspiring audiologists. This wide range of possibilities was one of the major deciding factors I considered when embarking on this eight-year higher education journey.

To me a job in audiology is about more than looking in ears, diagnosing hearing loss, and fitting assistive devices. I view it as a chance to be directly involved in repairing the communication between patients and their loved ones by reconnecting them with tools and techniques to listen better. A lot of our social connections occur via spoken language, so even a small degree of restoration can make a significant impact in the lives of the people who walk into our offices. To be a part of that positive change every day as an audiologist makes going to work that much more meaningful.

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Briana Rodriguez, University of South Florida Student

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