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

HearWHAC hearwhac at netins.net
Wed Aug 20 12:07:15 EST 1997


Jeffrey Sirianni wrote:

> 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.

This is good news to me! It is important for the audiologist to
understand how the business department interprets the Balance Sheet, the
Profit/Loss Statement and the other financial reports - even if the
audiologist is not directly involved. I have a good friend who is the
Executive/CEO of the largest PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) in
our area and his primary interest is "financial" as spelled "P R O F I T
S"! We actually pay our audiologists on the basis of the gross profit
they bring in. They love it because it is a very fair way to reward them
for their excellent (or lousy) performance!

> >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...

This works for me! I believe there are about 15 or so optometry programs
in the US. But you must put this into perspective! There is a much
greater need for optometrists than there is for audiologists. A large
majority of the population needs to see the eye doctor routinely -
whereas it is only a  very small minority of the population that needs
to see the hearing aid doctor routinely! So, three or four "hearing aid
doctor" schools would be adequate!

> I think there is a pretty wide continum when it comes to hearing aid
> dealers.

You are quite right on this one! One thing I left out of my lengthy post
is I AM FLAT OUT OPPOSED TO THE POSITION ASHA TOOK SEVERAL YEARS AGO
THAT AUDIOLOGISTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DISPENSE UNDER THEIR AUDIOLOGY
LICENSE AND NOT HAVE TO HAVE A "HEARING AID DEALER'S LICENSE." THIS IS
VERY NEAR-SIGHTED AND DOWNRIGHT STUPID! If you change the laws to
eliminate "dual licensure" and allow two licensing boards to oversee
separate groups of dispensers (one board for audiologist dispensers and
another board for traditional HAD dispensers), you will ALWAYS have two
groups dispensing in your state. It is almost impossible politically to
get rid of any licensing board. In other words, the audiologists in that
state could never get the legislature to discontinue the hearing aid
dealer licensing board because the legislators belong to the same
Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, etc. Clubs and the same churches, etc. that the
hearing aid dealers belong to and they are NOT going to go against their
friends. THE SMARTEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY IS TO keep
dispensing under one board and slowly move toward licensing only
audiologists as "hearing aid dealers." If I were getting rid of any
boards, I would have the audiology and speech pathology board get a
divorce right now and become only the "speech pathology board."
Eliminate the audiology portion of that board (AAA did that to ASHA,
there are no speechies in AAA) and put all the audiology stuff under the
dispensing board where it should be.

> 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.

Again, you are right on this one! I contend that because the traditional
dealers and audiologists have never gotten along in Florida, they have
some real bad slimeballs down there. (In Iowa, we get along real great
and we work together to keep the slimeballs out.) Right now we have a
Florida slimeball visiting Des Moines and he is wanting to find someone
in Des Moines that will hire him during the summer when he lives up
here. I was not too kind to him this morning.

> 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.

I believe that "nothing happens until somebody sells something." They
really do some good when they advertise that hearing aids do help
people. In 1993 the FDA shut down Miracle Ear's advertising. EVERY
dispensing audiologist in the country watched their own sales go down
the toilet when Miracle Ear had to stop advertising. (Miracle Ear was
doing about 85% of all the marketing for our industry at that time and
they were selling a lot of heaing aids for you and for me! "Do you sell
that Miracle Ear that I saw on TV?" "No, but I have something just as
good.") But I do agree with you that I have no time whatsoever for their
hiring people off the street and turning them loose to do whatever they
do. But my point is that the universities aren't doing a heck of lot
better job at it either!

> 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.

I really appreciated Susan's post that started this whole thing! She
said it like it is! Let's hope somebody is listening!

Paul Woodard ;-)
Des Moines IA






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