Will you be an Ostrich ... or an Eagle?

Will you be an Ostrich ... or an Eagle?

Kristin Davis, Au.D.

Many audiologists I have spoken with recently, feel like the earth is shifting beneath them; significant change like we haven’t seen in many years is upon us! Fear and anxiety are often associated with significant change. Uncertainty can paralyze. We can stick our heads in the sand and stick with the status quo, or we can try to engage and advocate with our peers for the freedom a true clinical doctoring profession deserves.

I believe that each of us has the ability to choose to donate time and money, as no amount of either is too small to secure better access to hearing healthcare for the public, and to unequivocally establish audiologists as the primary contact for hearing and balance healthcare. The FDA final rule on OTC should be our last wake up call. It is time for every audiologist to act! I humbly request that all audiologists join in as many of the below steps as possible:

  1. Join your state Audiology organization.
  2. Volunteer for state advocacy efforts.
  3. Donate to your state association.
  4. Educate yourselves on audiology issues and organizations that purport to represent audiologists – Choose wisely those to which you donate your time and financial resources.
  5. Donate to the Eric N. Hagberg Advocacy Fund — every dollar makes a difference, and every member and every audiologist NEEDS to participate at some level.
  6. Take advantage of your ADA membership by attending AuDacity this year to futureproof your practice and join in preparing our profession for the changes ahead.
  7. Attend the ADA State Advocacy workshop at AuDacity on Sunday Oct 23rd. Take home strategies to address these issues in your state. EVERY state licensure law will have to be examined in 2023 in light of the “new” prescription class of hearing aids. If your state doesn’t have a strong audiology organization, ADA is here to help you with coalition development and resources for your state.

In conclusion, our ACTIONS in the next several months will reveal our true “collective group” mindset. My hope and belief is audiologists will choose to be eagles and act in an intentional and deliberate manner in executing the above steps to reach our professional goals. With each other we can elevate our profession for future audiologists, our peers, and our practices! ■