Twenty Years Later: The Majority of Audiologists Are Doctors
In 1988, only 8 percent of U.S. audiologists held doctoral degrees. Of those, most held PhDs, most were males, and most worked in university settings. Things have changed. As of October 2008, Paarlberg reports that more than 6,200 audiologists have earned their AuD. Additionally, she reports more than 2,200 are currently enrolled in residential (traditional) AuD programs and another 1,500 audiologists are currently in distant education programs. Further, in the early 1990s, there were approximately 120 programs awarding master’s degrees in audiology, whereas in 2008, there are about 70 programs offering the AuD.
Recent Trends Accomplished
- The clinical fellowship year (CFY) has transformed to the collaborative preceptorship. The preceptorship focuses more on the learner/teacher relationship with patient-centered teaching as the core.
- Clinical skills are phased in and mastered over the four-year course of study, following preparation through observation, academic preparation, and education.
- Income is up. AuD graduates earn some 13 percent more in 2008 than their MA/MS-level counterparts earned in 2006.
Now that professional education, knowledge, and patient-based skills are well on the way to excellence, the next major hurdle for the profession is private-practice ownership. That is, private-practice ownership and expansion are major goals for the near short –term.
For More Information, References and Recommendations:
Paarlberg, S. (October, 2008): As AuD Movement Turns 20, a Progress Report Shows a Profession Transformed. The Hearing Journal AuD Supplement. Vol 61 Supplement.