Use of Doctoral Degree Designators
Letter to the membership: January 31, 1997
The Code of Ethics of the American Academy of Audiology was adopted to ensure that member audiologists would discharge their professional responsibilities in a manner demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethical principles. As a member of the Academy, you have agreed to uphold the Code of Ethics.
In that spirit, the Board of Directors wishes to remind the members of the current policy of the Academy regarding the use of the title "Dr." or the degree designators AuD, EdD, PhD, or any other degree designator when these are used, displayed, or referenced to the professional community or public at large by an audiologist not having earned the degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Principle of Ethics 6, Rules 6a and 6b of the Academy Code provide:
Members shall comply with the ethical standards of the Academy with regard to public statements. Individuals shall not misrepresent their educational degrees, training, credentials, or competence. Only degrees earned from regionally accredited institutions in which training was obtained in audiology, or a directly related discipline, may be used in public statements concerning professional services. Individual's public statements about professional services and products shall not contain representations or claims that are false, misleading, or deceptive.
The Board of Directors of the Academy supports and reafirms the Ethical Practices Board's previously published interpretation (Audiology Today, Vol.7, No. 4, 1995):
Academy members may use in public statements only graduate degrees earned from regionally accredited institutions (or their equivalent) in which training was obtained in audiology (or a directly related discipline). Public statements include, but are not limited to stationery, business cards, catalogs, advertisements (including telephone directory listings), directories, programs, announcements, marketing materials, signs, or other published materials where members are identified for professional purpose.
If you are currently using a degree designator as listed above, or associated title without having earned the degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning be advised that your use of the degree will be subject to review and action from the Ethical Practices Board of the Academy. The action taken may include permanent revocation of your membership and notification of the action to your state licensing board.
Barry A. Freeman, Ph.D.