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AFA's Au.D.

Jeffrey Sirianni audioman at HCTC.NET
Tue Nov 19 23:39:35 EST 1996

"mikey" <gandalf at infi.net> writes:

>The Au.D. equivalency has not been tested in the courts....

Not yet....

>and the title doctor is open to anyone. 

If you're getting back to the "Dr Golf" thing again, you are forgetting that
a sales clerk at "Dr. Golf" is not medically licensed professional like an
audiolgist.  Nor do people at "Dr. Golf" expect medical answers to why their
golf game is so poor.

I see an audiologist as a medical professional trained in the diagostics and
rehabilitation of hearing disorders.  When a person enter an audiology
office, or an ENT office and sees the audiologist, they are expecting a
medical approach at helping them with their hearing problem.  I believe it
is misleading to the consumer to call oneself a "doctor" if their is no
educational credentials to back it up, give it a university-based AuD degree
or accredation.

I'll use this scenario to get my point across.  Joe B. graduated this year
from a university-based AuD program, which included extensive training in
the anatomy and physiology of hearing, hearing aids and fitting, diagostics
using traditional methods, electrophysiology, otoacoustic emissions, plus
courses in rehabilition.  Dr. Joe is prepared to enter the workforce as an
audiologist in private practice, or as part of a hospital support member.
Then there is Bill S., who graduated as an audiologist back in 1975.  Bill
worked in an ENT office for a four years, then decided to go into private
practice and calls his business Bill's Audiology Clinic.  His typical work
day consists of seeing older patients who require hearing aids.  Bill has
not done an ABR in 15 years, nor does he even know what otoacoustic
emissions are.  He is a good audiologist and his patients like him, because
what he does, he does well. Bill gathers up $750 and sents it to the AFA and
gets his AuD credentials.  He then changes the name of his practice to Dr.
Bill's Audiology Clinic.

Is it at all misleading to the general public for Dr. Bill to be considered
as comprehensive and as qualified as Dr. Joe.  Sure Bill has more experience
in hearing aid sales and fitting, but he knows little on the recent
procedures in diagnostics of complex hearing disorders, which Joe is well
trained in.  It would not be misleading (IMHO) if Bill received the same
type of training, in the form of workshops or seminars, to give him the same
knowledge as Joe.

This scenario is one reason that I beleive the AFA credential sceme falls
short in helping the profession.  If one really cares about the well being
of his/her patients, then he/she will sacrifice the time and money required
to attend seminars and workshops in an attempt to become a better trained
professional.  Buying a degree implies nothing to this purpose, only that
he/she is looking for a better title.


* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A                      *
* Sound Advice / R.G. Delaney, M.D.               *
* 710 Water Street / Suite 404                    *
* Kerrville, TX  78028                            *
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* (210) 896-1433                                  *
* (210) 896-1440 FAX                              *
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* audioman at hctc.net                               *
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* Discussion Leader of bionet.audiology Newsgroup *

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