Postgraduate specialization fellowship training for audiologists: survey results from educators, supervisors, and students
Arenberg, Julie G.
Hull, Raymond H.
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Arenberg, Julie G.; Hull, Raymond H.; Hunter, Lisa. 2020. Postgraduate specialization fellowship training for audiologists: survey results from educators, supervisors, and students. American Journal of Audiology, vol. 29:no. 2:pp 290-299
Purpose From the Audiology Education Summit held in 2017, several working groups were formed to explore ideas about improving the quality and consistency in graduate education in audiology and externship training. The results are described here from one of the working groups formed to examine postgraduate specialization fellowships. Method Over the course of a year, the committee designed and implemented two surveys: one directed toward faculty and one toward students. The rationale for the survey and the results are presented. Comparisons between faculty and student responses are made for similar questions. Results Overall, the results demonstrate that the majority of both students and faculty believe that postgraduation specialization fellowships are needed for either 1 year or a flexible length. There was a consensus of opinion that the fellowship should be paid, as these would be designed for licensed audiologists. Most believed that the fellowships should be "governed by a professional organization (e.g., American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, American Doctors of Audiology, etc.)," or less so, a "separate body for this specific purpose." Potential topics for specialization identified were the following: tinnitus, vestibular, cochlear implants, pediatrics, and intraoperative monitoring. The highest priority attributes for a specialization site were "abundant access to patient populations," "staff of clinical experts," and "active research." The weight put toward these attributes differed between faculty and students with faculty prioritizing "university/academic centers," and "access to academic coursework in the fellowship area." The faculty rated "caseload diversity," "minimum hours," "research," and "academic affiliation" as requirements for a fellowship site, with less weight for "coursework" and "other." Finally, the students valued "improved personal ability to provide exceptional patient care," "the potential for increased job opportunities," and the "potential for a higher salary" as benefits most important to them, with lower ratings for "recognition as a subject matter expert" or "potential pathway to Ph.D. program." Conclusions As a result of the survey, further exploration of a postgraduate specialization fellowship is warranted, especially to determine funding opportunities to offset cost for the sites and to ensure that fellows are paid adequately.
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