Rumor has it that private practice audiology is dying. Don’t let the naysayers get in your head. Yes, there are not enough Au.D. graduates and we need more students interested in the profession. It is also true that many of the hearing aid manufacturers and insurance companies have their hand in the pie. Big box stores are everywhere you look. Our local pharmacy recently installed a sound booth. Over the counter hearing aids are coming. Hearing care is everywhere. In my opinion, it’s a good thing.

As a private practice owner, I believe that adhering to best practices and delivering exceptional care positions private practice apart from other providers. I believe that a busy ENT office, hospital or large clinic can not possibly have the time to make sure that every person walking through the door is treated with kid gloves. Of course not everyone wants the care of a private practice. That’s okay. Consumers deserve choices.

Housed in our building are two dental practices and when we look out our window we can see a few more. Everyone (or almost everyone) has teeth that need care. It’s the same with ears. Think about how many of those ears you have the opportunity to take care of.

Practice what you know because you are the expert. Everyone should be taught how to properly protect their ears. Balance issues affect quality of life and it is our job to evaluate and treat vestibular disorders. Assess and treat tinnitus, evaluate auditory processing, learn implantable hearing aids, assistive devices, and clean ears. These are jobs of an Audiologist and only a smattering of what we can do.

Get excited about what’s to come. The future is bright. You ought to wear shades.