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Charles L. Hutto, AuD, FAAA
What is An Audiologist?
Chesapeake Hearing Centers

What is An Audiologist?

Often, I get asked “What is an audiologist?” The confusion goes back to when I was a young man vacationing in California and went to tour a Hollywood TV studio. I got picked out of a crowd to be a contestant on a game show and was asked what I did for a living. Being fresh out of a Johns Hopkins graduate program and feeling quite accomplished I stated proudly “I am an audiologist”. To which the host responded, “Oh, you work on stereos”.
Well, over the years, I have found it is never safe to assume that people actually know what an audiologist is or does. To become an audiologist a minimum of a masters degree in audiology followed by a nine month clinical fellowship is required. Most academic programs now offer a doctoral program that the student must complete along with the masters work. The candidate must also pass a national comprehensive standardized examination administered by the Educational Testing Services.
The following is excerpted from the American Academy of Audiology Scope of Practice Position Statement
“The central theme of the profession of audiology is auditory impairment and its associated communicative disorders. Audiologists are primarily concerned with the identification, evaluation, and rehabilitation of the individual with either peripheral or central auditory impairment, and the prevention of such impairment. All professional activities related to this central theme fall within the purview of audiology. In addition, professional activities related to vestibular function fall within the competence of audiologists.
An audiologist is a person who, by virtue of academic and clinical training and appropriate certification and/or licensure, is uniquely qualified to provide a comprehensive array of professional services related to the assessment and rehabilitation of persons with auditory and vestibular impairments, and to the prevention of these impairments. The audiologist serves in a number of roles clinician, therapist, teacher, consultant, researcher and administrator.
Audiologists provide clinical and academic training to students in audiology. Audiologists teach physicians and medical students about non-medical and non-surgical aspects of hearing and hearing loss. They also provide information and training on all aspects of hearing and vestibular function and communication disorders and rehabilitation to other professionals including psychology, counseling, rehabilitation, education and other related professions. Audiologists also provide information and services to business and industry. Audiologists also serve as expert witnesses within the boundaries of forensic audiology.
The audiologist is an independent practitioner, who provides services in hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices and other settings in which audiological services are
In Maryland, you can choose between an ENT doctor, an audiologist, or a hearing aid dispenser for the purchase of hearing aids. Hopefully, I have provided some insight into what can be confusing when choosing a professional to help you with your hearing problems.

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