In Praise of Civility One of the advantages of being an audiologist for 21 years, and then a full-time administrator for several more, is that it allows a different perspective from which to view matters of great interest to the profession. I want to take this opportunity to comment on two current issues in ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   March 01, 1992
In Praise of Civility
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julia M. Davis
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   March 01, 1992
In Praise of Civility
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 7. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.07
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 7. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.07
One of the advantages of being an audiologist for 21 years, and then a full-time administrator for several more, is that it allows a different perspective from which to view matters of great interest to the profession. I want to take this opportunity to comment on two current issues in audiology that seem to me to be closely related: the attempts to establish the AuD as the entry-level preparation for clinical work in audiology and the sentiment expressed more and more often that audiology should separate completely from speech-language pathology as a discipline.
As I listen to both sides of the arguments about the advisability of establishing the AuD and the educational programs that will lead to it, I am reminded of other controversies that have divided us into camps. The current dialogue seems to me to be similar to the oral versus manual arguments that have existed for educators of the deaf for at least 200 years, and within audiology ever since it became an independent discipline. Before you reject this observation out of hand, consider the following similarities. First, each side of the current controversy has taken a position based on opinions unsupported by convincing data. Although the opinions are strongly held, the reasons given for holding them tend to be based on personal preferences rather than an analysis of the scope of audiological practice related to the setting in which the practice is carried out, a systematic analysis of what audiologists are called upon to do, and an evaluation of how well or how poorly the average audiologist performs these duties. Second, the longer the debate continues, the more vitriolic the discussions become. It distresses me to hear colleagues, whom I respect, state flatly that audiologists who graduate from our training programs with master’s degrees “don’t know anything.” Surely this is not true. Is there evidence to support such a negative statement? If so, has anyone proposed a solution to the problem of inadequate educational preparation, other than requiring the abolishment of the current entry-level degree and the establishment of a different degree to serve the same purpose? Why is it necessary to divorce ourselves from our colleagues in speech-language pathology to accomplish better preparation for a career in clinical audiology? Will we be better counselors to our clients and their families? Will we understand the ramifications of a hearing impairment for other aspects of the individual’s life? Will we care?
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