Editorial As I am sitting in my hotel room in the Swiss Alps writing this editorial, a few things are blatantly obvious to me. First, I am grateful to work for an institution that recognizes and supports international travel as a mechanism for cultural and intellectual exchange. Second, the world ... Editorial
Editorial  |   December 01, 1999
Editorial
 
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Editorial
Editorial   |   December 01, 1999
Editorial
American Journal of Audiology, December 1999, Vol. 8, 82. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(1999/013)
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 1999, Vol. 8, 82. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(1999/013)
As I am sitting in my hotel room in the Swiss Alps writing this editorial, a few things are blatantly obvious to me. First, I am grateful to work for an institution that recognizes and supports international travel as a mechanism for cultural and intellectual exchange. Second, the world is a much smaller place than it used to be, with e-mail, cable television, global brand names, and restaurant chains now reaching all but the most isolated locations. That said, I am glad for the Sydney Opera House, the Swiss Alps, and the Golden Gate Bridge, among other things, which help remind me that there still are places that will never be adequately replaced by virtual reality. Finally, despite the fact that we continue to debate the future of audiology education and practice in the United States, we are not alone in these challenges. Other countries are facing many of the same issues related to scope of practice, health care reforms, and internal and external divisions between professionals. Switzerland actually has very few master’s level audiologists, and the majority of hearing aids are dispensed by technically trained akustikans, for whom strict mandatory continuing education exists for certification. In Brazil, most practitioners are dual-certified as audiologists and speech pathologists. Meanwhile, in Australia, the first group of master’s level audiologists will graduate from national universities this year, where, until recently, a bachelor’s degree was the requirement for audiology practice. In Poland, many Ear, Nose and Throat physicians are directly involved in the practice of audiology as part of their specialty training. Even in North America, different training models exist, as Canada has used a few large academic programs to educate audiologists, in contrast with the scores of training programs in the United States.
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