The Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) is the designator for the professional doctorate in the discipline of audiology. The Au.D. is the entry level degree for the clinical practice of Audiology. Completion of the degree typically requires four years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree. The majority of Au.D. programs include three years of didactic and clinical instruction and a one-year externship, similar to a medical residency. During the 2nd and 3rd year of clinical instruction, students complete part-time clinical practicums or traineeships. The 4th year externship is a full time, usually a 12-month commitment.
The goal of our training program is to prepare skilled and independent Audiologists. The VA Boston Audiology clinic provides training opportunities for 3rd year trainees and 4th year externs. The Audiology clinic provides a wide range of Audiological services including Comprehensive Audiological evaluations, Vestibular Evaluations (VNG, VEMP, Rotary Chair, & Posturography), Auditory Evoked Potentials, Compensation and Pension exams, as well as Hearing aid evaluation, selection, and fitting, Hearing Aid Repair Walk-in Clinic, Real Ear Hearing Aid Verification, Assistive Listening Device Evaluation including FM and Bluetooth technology, Auditory Rehabilitation Group, Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM), Auditory Processing Evaluations, Tele-Audiology hearing aid fittings, checks, and Aural Rehabilitation.
Trainees have a number of interprofessional learning opportunities with the ENT department and the Geriatric clinic. Externs have the opportunity to spend a morning observing the Otolaryngologist during his primarily otologic clinic. Audiology externs are also involved in the VA’s National Geri Scholars program at the VA Boston. These scholars are visiting clinicians who come to Boston for learning opportunities in geriatrics (many of them hail from more rural VA settings to gain expertise in caring for older Veterans).
All externs also work on a quality improvement project throughout the year to improve clinical practice. Externs present the project at the department staff meeting and may see their project integrated into clinic.
Many of the trainees in the Audiology Program continue their careers caring for our nation’s Veterans by taking permanent positions within the VA system. Others pursue jobs in private practice, hospitals, and ENT clinics.