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Are Audiologists Generous

Susan M Lopez lopezs at musc.edu
Thu Aug 14 22:33:48 EST 1997

As someone who has recently completed a CFY...I have a few cents to share
to this thread, too.

I went to a wonderful graduate program (I thought) and received a good
preparation for my career (I thought).

When it came to finding a job after I graduated, I was woefully on my own.
If I had chosen to stay in the state where I got my graduate education, I
would have probably found a job eventually because that happened to be
where my professional connections were at the time (professors,
supervising audiologists...).  However, I did not want to stay in that
state, and I moved to a completely new state for personal reasons.

I wrote to many audiologists and hearing aid dealers in this new state
starting about 4-5 months before I graduated.  I sent resumes, made phone
calls, answered ads in the Hearing Journal, etc.  I got very little in
terms of replys.  Finally, a WONDERFUL audiologist with a private practice
had the courtesy to return my letter and a phone call and she put me on
the trail of a job at a small hospital about an hour away from where I
wanted to live in this new state.

I interviewed for the job.  The hospital had been contracting for
audiological services.  They had 1 ENT that was seeing patients there a
few days a week.  I could get another audiologist at a nearby hospital in
the next small town to supervise.  I had no other offers.  They offered
30K and full benefits.  I said OK and signed on the dotted line.

It was horrible.  There were no patients.  No eqipment.  I didn't like my
supervisor.  The ENT was a great guy, but he only sent me about 3 patients
a week.  I had been told the hospital wanted to start selling hearing
aids...turns out, they had no clue the start up costs would be so high to
do anything "decent" (real ear, impedance, etc.).  They had a booth, and
audiometer, and me.  I quit after two months.  I decided I would rather
deliver pizzas.  The job was completely inappropriate for someone like me,
fresh out of school.  I had no way of seeing that at the time.  You have
such a poor idea what you don't know when you graduate....

So, by some miracle, I was hired on as a CFY at a major research hospital
and got a fabulous job working part time in research with cochlear
implants and part time in the audiology clinic.  Less pay, no benefits,
fabulous job and I learned my little heart out.

All CFY jobs should be more like the second experience I had.  I suspect
that there are far too few of these available and far more like my first.
However, how many people are willing to say "screw this" and leave the
field and how many stay....wasting their CFY experience in a job that
offers little opportunity to learn and grow?

I now have my CCC-A, and am farther along in my career.  I see a
tremendous need for better graduate training in terms of helping
audiologists in school learn better business skills, better savvy on
closing "the deal" and how to balance that with ethical practice.  This
whole move to the AuD comes out of these types of needs and other problems
with graduate training as it is now, as well as other issues that I won't
begin to discuss here.

My point?  finding a CFY is hard enough. Finding one that is what it
should be is even harder.  If I had found any private practice
audiologist who would've taken me on, I would've jumped at the opportunity
to work for $7 an hour just to learn and not be stuck delivering pizzas.
I won't toot my own horn, but I will say it was a sad shock to realize
that any jobs out there are primarily gained by knowing people who know
where jobs are.  And no matter how smart you are, or how good your
training was, if you go someplace where nobody knows you or knows the
people you worked with, you'll have a hard time finding a job. How many
people to we lose in this field who get discouraged and give up and start
delivering pizzas to pay off the school loans because they don't have ANY
JOB when they graduate...even after pounding the pavement.  Do we all end
up working for Beltone and Miracle Ear?

The problems facing our field are very complex and its easy to point
fingers and say "well, we need to do X to fix this."  

Just my 2 cents....I'm sure there are a zillion stories out there like


*nothing expressed here should be construed as representative of my
employer.  If you want to sue someone over something I write, sue me and
not my employer.

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