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AuD, SLP PhD, Med school???

EsotericAlchemy

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2012
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  1. Medical Student
    My advice would be to think broadly about where your passions lie, what your strengths are, where you could make the greatest contributions to society, and probably also consider financial stability and job prospects in each of the career paths.
    Talk to people from each of these fields and establish relationships with them and they will answer your questions.
     

    hmockingbird

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Jan 31, 2011
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    1. Resident [Any Field]
      My advice would be to think broadly about where your passions lie, what your strengths are, where you could make the greatest contributions to society, and probably also consider financial stability and job prospects in each of the career paths.
      Talk to people from each of these fields and establish relationships with them and they will answer your questions.

      Agree. OP, I think you need to do some shadowing and soul-searching before you make a commitment. From my own experiences, these fields all work in a related area (speech, language, hearing) but the jobs are different. SLPs focus on doing therapy to improve speech. ENTs focus on the medical and surgical management of ear/nose/throat disorders, which may involve speech, but they aren't really focused on direct work (therapy) for improving a speech condition, like an SLP would be. I have not been to an audiologist myself (have gone to the other two) but it seems like they perform hearing and balance diagnostic tests, fit hearing aids and other devices, and can do hearing and balance rehab. I think, though you clearly have an interest in communication disorders, these fields all fit different types of personalities and goals. Are you interested in working directly with patients in therapy, or are you more interested in performing surgeries and other interventions for these patients? If you are interested in more of the direct therapeutics, do your interests lie more with speech or with hearing/balance? Or maybe you are interested in the diagnostic process and if so, are your interests mainly in hearing, or all of ENT? Would you want to do that plus some therapy or device-fitting work, or that plus surgery? Having been to both an SLP and ENT, they are honestly totally different careers, even though they often work together. I think you might find that one of these three fits what you want to do better than the others after learning more about them.

      IDK if you think you can have a practice that combines all/some of these but I'm just going to be honest, that seems unrealistic to me. The training time is a factor, and also having enough time to have a sustainable business for each type of practice... you might end up being spread too thin. *Maybe* audiology and SLP could be combined, since they seem to have somewhat similar therapeutic aims.

      I think you also really need to think hard about the financial reality of getting all of these degrees, especially if you tack med school on to the list. You might be able to get away with a part-time job your first two years, but from third year on, kiss that idea goodbye... when you are spending 7+ years in a surgery residency basically working two full-time jobs, you're not going to have time to use your SLP degree. I'm not trying to be harsh, but if you decide you want to do medicine and are just looking for a temporary job to help out with expenses while you do your prereqs and maybe your first two years, IMO you'd be better off skipping the cost of an extra degree and just getting a job that doesn't require any special master's/PhD degree.

      Also something to consider is that while some med schools like older/non-trad applicants because they want students who are more mature, switching degrees like this could make it look like you are indecisive or unable to commit to a career. I don't really think they care about whether you have advanced degrees or not, just how you do with the prereqs and MCAT.
       
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