4th year at ENT practice -- what's it like?

Discussion in 'Audiology [ Au.D ]' started by Kitska, Jan 4, 2012.

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  1. Kitska

    Kitska 2+ Year Member

    I'm interviewing next week for a 4th year externship at a fairly large ENT practice. It sounds like a good place. They see a variety of age ranges including a fair number of children. So far my placements have been at hospital clinics and audiology private practices. I am curious what to expect -- is it more like one or the other? Has anyone done their 4th year in this kind of setting? I realize everywhere is different, but what did you feel the pros and cons were? If one did a 4th year at such a place, would it affect one's chances to get a permanent position in a hospital clinic? Thanks in advance!
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  3. skypt123

    skypt123 2+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Augusta, GA
    My 4th year was a bit of a combo. It was in a hospital setting,but the audiology department and ENT department were pretty much attached to each other. It was VERY fast paced, and I got to see a lot of both interesting and unusal cases. There was a lot of balance testing (rotary chair included) and I was able to do a lot of ABRs in the OR. Some of the con's: at times I felt like the workhorse instead of the audiologist. I did part of my 3rd year in a neurotologist's office and I definitely felt like I was working on a assembly line!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  4. Kitska

    Kitska 2+ Year Member

    Thanks -- it's not in a hospital, but in a small-medium sized medical office building with other (unaffiliated) medical practices. I get the sense it is pretty fast paced with a lot of conventional diagnostics and some work with hearing aids.
  5. DrAudio


    Aug 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Ask to see the schedule for the last month. That will give you an idea as to what to expect. Also ask the ENT mentality. Are you just doing audio/tymps or what will your real role be.

    Expect it to be very different than whatever you've experience til now. Busy ENT practices will see 30-60ish audio's in a day. Will there be anyone else seeing them or just you.

  6. TheEarDoc

    TheEarDoc Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA 5+ Year Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    The dirty south
    I've worked in large ENT groups that were just surgery and audio factories (I didn't stay long in those) and others that were truly a specialty office where audiology was treated like the specialty it is.

    Expect the following:
    - You will learn to be fast paced in testing and will learn to get quick at getting results
    - You will see a lot of crazy middle ear stuff and depending on the surgeons abilities you might see BAHA's, middle ear implants, and strange middle ear disorders
    - You will be worked hard and usually not reimbursed well, but sometimes this isn't always the case

    What to be weary of:
    - See how the ENT docs treat the staff and the audiologist, do they treat them like an equal? Like an employee? Like a slave that is just there to crank out audios? OR do they actually respect what the audiologist does?

    How can you tell this? See how the ENT doc and the audiologist interact. Some of the best ENT docs I've worked with will actually look at an Audio and ask me what I think is going on and if the pt would be better off with surgery or a hearing aid in my opinion. Others have just treated me like an audiometer dial turner.

    We have had this Anti-ENT mentality pounded into our heads for years, but the truth is the ENT's can be our best ally in this field. They usually get what we do and the importance of it and let us be professionals. Some don't and it's not that they have a beef against audiology, if you watch them they probably treat nurses, PT's, nurse practitioners, and physician's assistants like they are idiots and slaves. There are plenty of docs like them and they aren't just ENT's.

    Go check the office out and see how the docs interact with staff and see what the scope of services offered is. Who knows you might really click with them. If you don't no biggie, find a new placement. ENT offices are a dime a dozen in most areas.

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