In reference to the concern that grandfathered "Doctors of audiology" may
not be current in specific areas of service, there may be another way to
approach the problem. Ethically, it is the responsibility of the
practicioner to perform only those services which they are qualified to
perform, and to refer as needed. This is stated in both the ASHA and AAA
code of ethics (I believe.) Further, many licensing boards reference
these standards and provide for sanctions when they are not followed. So
a grandfathered "doctor of audiology" who does not know how to perform an
ABR may not be all that bad a result, so long as the ethical proscription
is not violated.
It seems to me that the minimum standards for obtaining a title/degree
need to be carefully thought out. This includes how a degree is obtained
and from where. I perferr obtaining a degree from a university. To do
less risks the apparence of fraud. I'm open to alternatives, such as
entitlement, distance learning etc., However, the further away we move
from traditional venues of learning, the more resistance and vulnerability
we will have when we present the degree to the public. That cost must be
factored into the equation for obtaining a professional degree without
the traditional effort.
Finally, (for what it is worth,) I am concerned that we have become too
tied to specific test techniques as the focus of our continuing education.
Which is more important - being able to perform the latest physiological
test or taking a patient from entering our practice with a specific
problem and having them leave our care with that problem solved? Tests
may be important in that process. But they are not the be all or end all
of auditological practice. I say, let the audiologist who has not
preformed an ABR in 15 years practice so long as he or she can solve a
patients hearing problems ethically.
DZAPALA at AOL.COM