Letter to the Editor Some audiologists have argued, in this journal and elsewhere, that master’s-level programs inadequately train audiologists. Yet they’ve rarely discussed where training is most inadequate: By focusing on medical audiology and testing, many master’s-level programs neglect nonmedical prevention of hearing loss and treatment of hearing-impaired persons beyond a hearing aid fitting. ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   July 01, 1994
Letter to the Editor
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Downs
    The Listening and Language Center Children's Memorial Hospital Chicago, IL
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Professional Issues & Training / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   July 01, 1994
Letter to the Editor
American Journal of Audiology, July 1994, Vol. 3, 79-c-80. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0302.79d
 
American Journal of Audiology, July 1994, Vol. 3, 79-c-80. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0302.79d
Some audiologists have argued, in this journal and elsewhere, that master’s-level programs inadequately train audiologists. Yet they’ve rarely discussed where training is most inadequate: By focusing on medical audiology and testing, many master’s-level programs neglect nonmedical prevention of hearing loss and treatment of hearing-impaired persons beyond a hearing aid fitting. These master’s-level audiologists then practice what they learned—often spending more time testing than in direct prevention and treatment.
Recently publicized AuD programs, to varying degrees, seem to perpetuate the medical and testing emphasis in training audiologists. The first 4-year, post-baccalaureate AuD program, as illustration, is offered through the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences in the Baylor College of Medicine. The Baylor curriculum reflects an insular bias that audiologists should be health care professionals, and persons with impaired hearing mainly have a medical problem rather than possible perceptual, cognitive, learning, emotional, social, developmental, familial, educational, linguistic, and medical problems. Specifically, there are 32 credit hours of foundation courses in anatomy, physiology, and neurosciences, but no courses in cognition, learning, motivation, acoustic and experimental phonetics, speech production, or deaf culture. Similarly, there are 6 hours of courses in pharmacology, but only 3 hours apiece in psychoacoustics and language. Most clinical courses are in medical and pediatric audiology, hearing and vestibular testing, and amplification. Yet there are only 4 hours of non-practicum courses in counseling and a measly 1 hour of readings in aural rehabilitation—perhaps, the two most challenging, salutary, and overlooked areas in clinical audiology. Furthermore, no courses are earmarked in interviewing, hearing and speech conservation, room acoustics, spoken language training for persons with impaired hearing, parent training, public awareness, community outreach, industrial audiology, educational audiology, or sign language. Finally, nine of the ten externship sites are in medical settings (ASHA News, 1993).
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